Meet our Head Chef, Sarah Lightfoot
Sarah along with her team is responsible for the catering service throughout the home. Sarah plans menus with input from residents and relatives to ensure balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day. Menus change four times a year to reflect seasonal produce and ensure variety. Sarah has worked in the catering industry for around 22 years in hotels, pubs, restaurants and care homes.
Food and Nutrition at Rivermead
Our catering team at Rivermead consists of experienced chefs who offer the best in delicious and nutritious food. Our Head Chef was proud to be Divisional Chef of The Year in 2015. Our menus change seasonally and are planned on resident likes and dislikes, feedback from resident meetings and local specialties. We hold full allergy information on all our dishes. Meals can be enjoyed in the dining rooms, lounges, bedrooms or coffee bar area. To get a flavour of the dishes on offer please see the sample 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'.