Care homes and elderly care from Barchester Healthcare

Meet our Head Chef, Fran Bannister

I qualified as a Chef at the age of eighteen. At Winchester House we strive to give our residents and staff a varied and nutritious diet. All of our food is freshly cooked in our kitchen. We try not to use dietary supplements as we consider freshly cooked food, supplemented with nutritious snacks, such as smoothies and mousses, is more effective for maintaining and increasing individuals’ weights. This is underpinned by the focus of meal times being a social and important part of each and every day. 

One of my favourite things is to make cakes and I am lucky that we have so many birthdays and special events to celebrate that require the chef team to make beautiful cakes. 

Food and Nutrition and Winchester House

Our catering team at Winchester House consists of experienced chefs who offer only the best in nutritional and delicious food. It is important for older people to have a healthy, balanced diet to maintain physical and mental well-being and avoid vulnerability to infection, reduced muscle strength and fatigue. Our menus reflect the individual tastes and dietary needs of people living at the home. Please see below for a taste of what what offer:

Breakfast time

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Dietary requirements

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'.

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