Under a new partnership, 12 Colten Care chefs enjoyed a day of bespoke sessions in The Kitchen cookery school at the New Forest’s five-star Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa.
The hands-on training was led by award-winning Chef Tutor Steve Bulmer who has 20 years of Michelin level restaurant experience in the UK and Europe including with Raymond Blanc.
The Colten party focused on techniques, principles and efficiencies in breadmaking, puddings, plating up, sauces and main courses.
Following the success of the first cohort, the training will be extended to all 45 Colten chefs in due course.
Colten’s Hotel Services Manager Fergus Davitt said: “We have many shared values with Chewton Glen such as the use of local suppliers and ingredients and a concentration on very high quality seasonal recipes.
“We create meals to an already very high standard, something we seek to maintain and improve on through continual training.
“However, working in a care home kitchen brings challenges that you don’t find in a hotel. Many of our residents have very specific clinical and nutritional requirements, for example in managing weight gain or loss or a need for modified foods.
“Feedback from residents and families shows people are really happy with what we do. In our most recent resident survey 97% of respondents praised the choice of food, but at the same time the public reputation of care home food is not always seen as outstanding.
“That’s why we decided to offer this additional training – to help our chefs continue to feel inspired, supported and invested in, so they do their very best for our residents.
“Our first group of chefs, a mix of ages and seniority, really enjoyed the training, felt they learned a lot, and came away very motivated.”
The Kitchen cookery school is a purpose-built space for learning about food and cooking within the grounds of Chewton Glen.
Alex Von Ulmenstein, Chewton Glen’s Food and Beverage Operations Manager, said: “We want the Colten Care chefs to get the most out of their experience and be able to apply new techniques on behalf of their residents.
“It’s not so much about replicating the same menus as the Chewton Glen but rather to add further expertise to their professional skills.
“We’re delighted that the first group of chefs enjoyed it so much and we look forward to welcoming the next cohort.
“It’s great to know we are supporting the quality of food in the care home sector.”
As well as its partnership with Chewton Glen, Colten Care promotes its credentials in quality food and drink – including support for local producers and suppliers – through headline sponsorship of the annual Taste of Dorset Awards.