Highly Trained and Motivated Chef Teams
We create award-winning meals that nourish the body and dining experiences that stimulate the mind
Serving our residents with delicious food is about so much more than nutrition at Avery. Our award-winning chefs work with an expert dietician, Helen Simpson to create seasonal meals that please the eye as well as the taste buds, in addition to catering to the varied dietary, nutritional and cultural needs of our residents. Every ingredient is carefully sourced and wherever possible, we use local suppliers to ensure the freshest produce goes into our meals.
Food forms such a strong link to our identities and heritage and we believe this should not be lost just because an individual moves into a care home. It’s why our chefs take the time to listen to the likes and preferences of our residents by developing meals that they can enjoy every day.
All of our menus are adapted to meet local tastes. At Birchwood Grange in Harrow, we have a dedicated vegetarian-only kitchen with a diverse range of authentic Asian meal options to cater to both our Asian residents and all of our other residents who’d like to try something different. Meanwhile at Albion House in Birmingham, we routinely provide a range of Caribbean dishes that have proved to be very popular to all.
Providing diversity in our meals comes naturally to our multicultural team of chefs who work hard to reflect the tastes of our care home communities. Whether it’s hearty British fare or cuisines from abroad, our chefs “follow the food”, venturing into our dining rooms to ensure the food is well-presented and enjoyed by our residents. The dining experience at every Avery care home is a regular social highlight for our residents.
We create a positive, social environment so mealtimes are a joy
We believe in empowering our residents to enjoy as much independence as possible and this applies to mealtimes too. We always provide several different choices at every meal, from the traditional to the exotic, giving residents the chance to find comfort in the familiar and excitement in the unusual. What’s more, with table service at each of our care home dining rooms, mealtimes become a shared, social experience; one that is never rushed but instead offers time to relax and enjoy.
Beautiful crockery and cutlery makes every meal feel like an occasion, while the option of family service adds an extra element of social interaction. Throughout the year, we also celebrate festivals and holidays through our menus, from Burns Night to Christmas, alongside hosting global cuisine-themed nights and seasonal cake competitions.
Hydration is encouraged at every meal, with triple-filtered bottled water always available alongside our Thirst-Quencher Drinks Menu. This innovative menu was developed by our chefs at one of our regular Avery Culinary Workshops and offers residents a variety of enticing flavoured waters; from our zesty Saint Clements and exotic Pomegranate, Lemon, Ginger & Lime, to our Homemade Cloudy Lemonade.
Care workers and hospitality staff are always on hand to help at mealtimes. We find that help goes both ways as interested residents assist our culinary teams, offering their own experience and skills as cooks and bakers. We always encourage residents with an interest to join in preparing meals in the safe and welcoming environment of our kitchens.
While our dining rooms are vibrant hubs in each of our care homes, we understand that not all residents are able to or wish to visit the dining room every day. That’s when we bring the dining room to our residents’ rooms. We pay extra care and attention to make sure their mealtime experience is still an event. Each course is served sequentially, condiments are always provided, and the quality and presentation of the food remains exceptional.
We continuously innovate to create exciting meals
Our talented chefs, in consultation with an experienced dietician, are constantly pushing themselves to create even more delicious meals for our residents; meals that balance flavours, textures, colours and nutrition.
All of our chefs have a thorough understanding of how to adapt foods to accommodate allergies and special diets. They’re also trained in creating texture-modified foods that make meals easier to chew, swallow and digest, without compromising on quality. The results are spectacular dishes that use modern gourmet approaches, such as fondants and silky smooth purées, to create varied textures that are visually appealing.
All of this is made possible through a combination of our chefs exemplary skills and the high-quality equipment we provide in our commercial kitchens. Continuous training of our chefs is par for the course at Avery, ensuring they can build on their skills and develop new meal ideas for our residents to enjoy.
We compete nationally to deliver the very best meals in a care setting
The passion of our chefs to deliver excellent meals has seen them win multiple awards. For consecutive years, our chefs have been finalists and winners at the NACC (National Association of Care Catering) Awards, with 2019 seeing one of our own win Care Chef of the Year. 2021 saw one of our chefs, Champa Misty win Vegetarian Chef of the Year and the Birchwood Grange culinary team win The Beulah Charity Trust Special Recognition Award at the Vegetarian for Life Awards.
We continue to compete in national culinary competitions for the care industry and in recent years have also taken part in the CAP (Continuous Advancement Programme) Awards.
The CAP Awards recognise housekeeping, front of house service and culinary services in the healthcare and education sectors. Though highly competitive, we have achieved Gold Awards at 6 of our care homes and continue to strive for success across all of our locations.
We are particularly proud of the dining experience we provide at every Avery care home and in 2018 our excellence in this area was recognised by the Care Home Awards, where we won for Best Dining Experience.
This is a testament to the dedication of our culinary and hospitality teams, all of whom undergo bespoke training to better understand our residents’ needs and support them in their daily lives. At Avery, care is delivered by every single member of our team, from chefs and cleaners to receptionists and care workers. This level of joined-up care makes the world of difference to each of our residents but especially to some of the most vulnerable members of our care community, those with dementia.
Click here to read more about how we cater for residents who live with dementia.