Keep Calm And Carry On Cooking
Avery was ready for the onset of COVID-19, in its new hygiene protocols, provision of PPE, and also in the delivery of its high-quality dining for the residents. Prompt purchasing of additional stocks and planning with its suppliers ensured that our residents would continue to enjoy the best in dining we could provide. Contingencies were put in place should any supplier be unable to deliver thus that we could maintain the high percentage of freshly cooked food that our kitchens are known for.
With that state of readiness, and continued support from the senior culinary team, all our chefs had to do was to Keep Calm And Carry On Cooking. They’ve adapted to the new normal amazingly.
Social distancing and isolation has meant that only a few residents take meals in the dining rooms, with the majority now enjoying room service throughout the day. A high specification room service option was already available within the Avery homes, and thus the only real change has been the increase in volume of such a service. The food continues to be of the same quality, and still with attention to the small details such as condiments and relevant sauces based upon the meal chosen.
Residents still have options at breakfast time, from lighter choices such as yoghurts, cereals and fruit juices, or the treat of a full English fry-up. At lunchtime there continue to be menu options and regular meal times are observed to retain that sense of normality. During the day there are regular trolley visits around the homes that deliver morning coffee and biscuits, afternoon tea and cake, as well as hydration drinks and smoothies. It’s a full dining experience to the room.
As well as the luxury of personal room service, all of the residents’ dietary, nutritional and hydration requirements are still being met. Balanced nutrition meals are complemented by appetising hydration drinks, and those residents with modified or supplementary diets are still receiving the same levels of support and personalisation to support their needs as a part of their care plan. There’s also no change to the vegetarian and vegan options available, for residents who either have a preference or dietary requirements.
So the residents have seen little change in the quality of dining provision, just in the location that they enjoy it. Staff are spending more time with the residents in their rooms at meal delivery time, to in part provide the socialisation previously enjoyed in the dining rooms with other residents. The residents have also been supported by the chefs in supplying some of the treats that families and friends used to bring in for them, such as particular chocolate bars or other snacks.
In fact, many of the culinary staff have gone the extra mile at this unprecedented time by helping out with the care and housekeeping teams as well as duty management within the homes. Many are working through their own challenges at their own homes or within their own families, and one chef even moved into the care home for five weeks to protect both his family and the home residents. All of the culinary teams at all the homes have been providing hot meals every day for the staff on duty, to ensure that they, in turn, are well-nourished during these exceptionally busy times.
Avery chefs. They’ve kept calm, carried on, and still produce really great cooking.