Meet our Head Chef, Damian Lawley
My role is to create well-balanced and nutritional meals using locally sourced ingredients to provide a dining experience to remember for all residents and family members to enjoy. I joined The Rhallt in 2018 and have extensive experience in the catering industry. I ensure that every meal is not only delicious, but reflects each individual's likes, dislikes and dietary requirements!
Food and Nutrition at The Rhallt
Our small, experienced team of dedicated chefs and kitchen assistants provide our residents with a nutritional, delicious and balanced diet individually tailored to meet their exact needs. Specialised diets include diabetic, gluten free, vegetarian and a pureed diet for those residents who require one.
For lunch our residents have a choice of 2 starters which can include, Pate, Garlic Mushrooms, Soup, or Prawn Cocktail, followed by a choice of 2 main meals and puddings. There are smoothies and snacks available throughout the day and a 'Try Something Different Menu' should they not like anything on the main menu. Please see our example menus below.
For residents that have difficulties in swallowing we modify the menu of the day so that is it a soft, palatable dish. To support our chefs in producing these dishes, our hospitality and Chef Academy organises theory and practical workshops. Working in partnership with Nutricia, our practical workshops involve all chefs and deputy managers learning about dysphagia and producing these modified menus. The chefs work with the chef trainer to prepare fork mashable and thick puree meals to the correct consistency, taste and presentation. The deputy managers can then ensure all modified menus served are presented correctly for our residents.
Attracting top chefs
Our chefs are recruited on the basis of an interview with the regional hospitality support team and the manager for the home. Selection also involves a practical element where potential cooks are asked to cook for and meet a panel of people living in the home. Chefs take their job extremely seriously and our annual Chef competition sees our chefs battle it out in regional heats and then at a national final for the accolade of 'Barchester's Chef of the Year'.