The UK’s largest residential care provider, HC-One, is celebrating the graduation of their first cohort of Group Development Chefs.
The three newly promoted chefs are celebrating the end of their ten-week training programme, which supports catering Colleagues of any level to progress to senior roles with additional leadership, strategy and innovation responsibilities.
The ten-week programme provides one-of-a-kind opportunities for those developing a career in catering in their local care home. The initiative was introduced at the beginning of the year as part of HC-One’s drive to make it as easy as possible for anyone across their c.275 homes to access meaningful and rewarding career pathways in care hospitality.
Now that the first cohort of Group Development Chefs have graduated, they will be working with Wellbeing and Catering teams in homes to deliver truly specialist nutrition and hydration programmes tailored to every Resident.
The new team of Group Development Chefs will also work directly with Residents in each home, delivering pop-up shops, recipe tasting sessions and cooking activities to co-design and co-deliver their food and drink offer.
To celebrate their graduation, the three hard working chefs will be treated to a trip to London’s Billingsgate Market for a masterclass on fish with celebrity chef CJ Jackson, Principal and Chief Executive of Billingsgate Seafood School.
Chris Bonner, Executive Chef and Nutrition and Hydration Lead at HC-One, said:
“We are proud to have selected these highly promising chefs from our internal talent pool. Each individual displayed enormous potential within their existing, home-level work, and we are excited to support them to excel in the next stage of their career progression. There are no limits to what you can achieve through a career in social care, and our home-grown experts prove just that.”
Victoria Meakin, Group Development Chef & Winner of the Regional Great British Care Awards 2022, said:
“Although I was initially uncertain about working in a care home kitchen, my colleagues encouraged me to push my limits and explore the possibilities of cooking in care. HC-One’s development programme has supported me to collaborate with a broad range of health professionals and to develop a specialism in medical catering. Whilst working as a kitchen manager I particularly enjoyed cooking for Residents like they were my own family and can’t wait to apply this same ethos in my regional recipe designing!”
Pete Coles, Group Development Chef, said:
“Having worked in the care sector for over 10 years, the best part of my role is seeing the difference that catering can make to our Residents’ days. I can’t wait to explore new ways of strengthening communities through cooking thanks to this new development opportunity and am excited to see my culinary suggestions put into practice in homes across the region.”
Suzanne Stirling, Group Development Chef, said:
“At every stage of my career with HC-One, from cover Kitchen Assistant to head cook, I have been offered the training and encouragement necessary to surpass what I thought I was capable of. The Group Development Chef programme is no exception to this, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to push myself further. I’m excited to take on new challenges and to see the impact of my work on homes across Scotland and the North East of England.”