Cooking up a storm: Eating well with the help of award-winning chef

Eating healthy, nutritious food is a key part of living well, so we go above and beyond to make sure that every individual we support can share in the joy of good food and cooking as part of a healthy, active lifestyle. 

To help us do this, our colleagues are taught to cook by our training kitchen manager chef, Darren Hampton, who has some seriously impressive experience under his belt. 

Darren has previously cooked for the likes of Beyonce, Fleetwood Mac and Olympians, travelling around the world whilst doing so. Not only this, but he also took away the award for Care Home Cook/Chef at the Lincolnshire Care Awards last year. 

Now, Darren is using his expertise to teach our colleagues how to cook delicious, nutritious meals for the individuals we support using the training kitchen at Lincoln College

Top-notch training kitchen 

For the past year, Darren has been providing cookery workshops to pass on his experience and knowledge to his colleagues so they can make an even bigger difference.

With his help, we have been able to provide colleagues with better cookery skills and improve the quality of food in our homes, with lots of tasty, healthy recipes on offer. Colleagues have also been passing on what they’ve learned to the individuals they support as they get involved and share the love of cooking.

One skill the workshops have taught our colleagues is how to cook simple, healthy meals that can be enhanced to create other meals. For example, people have been taught how to make a simple bolognese, but then been given the option to make this into a chilli, and then taught how to add the chilli to a burrito. With this approach, Darren has been able to teach people how to make three meals in just one hour-long session. 

And it’s not all about bolognese – Darren has also created written menu books for our colleagues to take away with them, meaning they can bring a wide range of delicious recipes to life. 

But that’s not the only way we’re supporting healthy lifestyles – we also closely track everyone’s food and nutrition to monitor health and wellbeing, as well as gather valuable information about what foods are preferred.

Hazel Ashmore, our Senior Clinical Manager, said: “We use technology to complete screening tools for all individuals, which identify areas of risk such as dehydration and malnutrition. We can then assess any risks and put control measures in place – for example, if someone is at risk of losing weight quickly then we can make sure they are weighed more frequently to monitor this. 

“The system is constantly updated and every time an individual is offered food or drink, this is recorded in their daily diary so we can see what was offered, how many portions and how much was actually consumed.

“The system can define the calories and nutritional content of each food and automatically alerts the relevant people via email if metrics such as weight, fluid intake or calorie intake fall/rise by certain amounts. 

“By doing this, we can make sure that all colleagues have access to accurate data about what foods each individual prefers and what times of day they are most likely to eat – meaning we can support everyone with exceptional, bespoke care whilst also helping them to live a healthy lifestyle.”
If you’re interested in learning more about how we can support your loved one, we’d love for you to get in touch.

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