HC-One Chefs get plant-powered at vegan & vegetarian development dayThis week, the aroma of delicious plant-based creations filled the air at the Food Sorcery College in Manchester as HC-One Chefs and Kitchen Assistants gathered for the latest of our ever-popular development days – this time focused around vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Fuelled by the growing demand for vegetarian and vegan options, a commitment to resident well-being and sustainability, as well as growing the skills and confidence in our own colleagues - the day was a huge success for learning, skill-building, and inspiration.

This exciting event wasn't just about expanding our menus; it was about empowering our culinary champions at HC-One care homes to offer exceptional, inclusive dining experiences to residents of all preferences.

Expert-led exploration

The day kicked off with Alex Connell, Roving Chef for Vegetarian for Life, leading us through his specially curated recipes. Each dish showcased the endless possibilities of plant-based cuisine.

Alex's infectious enthusiasm and practical guidance demystified plant-based cooking, while his insightful tips on introducing these options to residents resonated deeply with our Chefs.

Mastering modifications

In the afternoon, Jamie Clews, Solutions Manager for Robot Coupe, took the lead, expertly demonstrating how to transform the day's recipes to cater to residents who need their foods to be texture modified.

Using Robot Coupe's innovative equipment, Jamie showed how to achieve perfect textures while preserving flavour and nutritional value. This valuable session empowered our Chefs to ensure every resident enjoys delicious, nutritious meals, regardless of their individual needs.

Beyond the recipes

The development day went beyond just culinary techniques. We tackled crucial topics like navigating resident preferences and overcoming mental capacity challenges with sensitivity and respect.

Our Chefs actively participated in discussions, sharing their experiences and collaborating to develop practical solutions. This open forum fostered a supportive and empowering environment, equipping our team with the tools to confidently champion plant-based options across our homes.

Victoria Meakin, Group Development Chef at HC-One, said:
“We cater for every diet in HC-One care homes, but we have also noticed more and more of our residents choosing to eat less meat and more plant-based foods. That’s why giving our Chefs the confidence to introduce delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes into our homes not only meets this growing demand but also encourages a more diverse diet and promotes resident well-being across the board.

“It's so inspiring to see our culinary champions embrace this journey with such confidence and enthusiasm." 


The journey continues

The energy and enthusiasm throughout the day was truly inspiring! Our Chefs left equipped with new skills, delicious recipes, and a renewed confidence to explore the exciting world of plant-based cuisine.

This is just the beginning of our journey to offer diverse, inclusive menus that cater to all residents, and promote the health benefits of introducing more plant-based dishes.

At HC-One, we’re committed to providing ongoing support and resources to empower our Chefs and continue evolving our culinary offerings.

A special thank you

As well as Alex Connell, Jamie Clews, we would also like to thank our special guests Andy Mcfall from EF Group, and Lisa Mawers from Lockhart for their help in making this event a resounding success, and for their continued support.

We also give our thanks to our amazing Chefs and Kitchen Assistants, your dedication to resident well-being and continuous learning is truly commendable. By continually growing and innovating, we can make HC-One a leader in offering exceptional, inclusive dining experiences for all!

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