Food at Rhiwlas Care Home
Meet our Head Chef, Jay Owen
I joined the team at Rhiwlas in April 2020, after having worked at its sister home for just over 12 months.
I have worked in care for 20+ years and I am passionate about ensuring the people in our care have as much independence, choice and quality of life as possible. I love cooking and my role within the team at Rhiwlas means I am lucky enough to do what I love and hopefully enhance the lives of everyone living here.
Food is so important for so many different reasons – from simple enjoyment and an opportunity to socialise to ensuring individual dietary and nutritional needs are met. I enjoy talking with our residents, getting to know them, learning about their lives and getting some recipe ideas!
Outside of work, I am a member of the National Trust and enjoy visiting & learning about the histories of all the amazing properties in their care. I have two dogs—Toby & Mabel—and our favourite thing is walking at Talacre Beach when the tide is out and it’s windy & drizzly!
If there is anything you want to talk about, please get in touch. Feedback is extremely important to me; it’s not something I take as a personal critique, but more as an opportunity to learn and make life more enjoyable for everyone. It tells me not only what I get right, but also what I need to change or improve on.
Food and Nutrition at our home
Our irresistible cuisine is prepared with only the very best fresh, seasonal produce, and based on the individual tastes of the people we support. Our menu will satisfy even those with the smallest of appetites; from breakfast through to dinner, residents can discover something different with fresh flavour and lovely presentation. Our fantastic chefs are always keeping themselves busy in the kitchen creating new and exciting dishes for everyone to enjoy. Please see below for a sample of what we offer:
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'.