You’re hired – how we develop our catering team

Training on the job: Chelsea Holder is building her career with Colten Care
Training on the job: Chelsea Holder is building her career with Colten Care

Underpinning our residents’ menu choices is a dedicated team of chefs and catering colleagues.

We have a solid track record in helping new recruits to our team acquire the skills they need to gain promotion and take on management responsibilities.

A prime example is Annabell Bryer, who joined us in 2010 as a 16-year-old Kitchen Domestic. A willingness to learn and gain extra qualifications has helped her develop a career as a chef.

She was a finalist at last year’s National Care Awards, and has recently been appointed the new Chef Manager at Belmore Lodge in Lymington.

“Annabell has gained the confidence and trust of management and residents alike by her commitment and passion to deliver excellent, tasty and well-presented food,” explains Fergus Davitt, our Hotel Services Manager. “She has a talent for putting her personality into all of her dishes.”

Another case study is Chelsea Holder, who was a Kitchen Assistant at St Catherines View  in Winchester before starting chef training at nearby Abbotts Barton.

She is now half way through a three-year apprenticeship, dividing her week between Amberwood House and a study day at Highbury College in Portsmouth.

Annabell Bryer delivers another ‘tasty and well-presented’ dish

Annabell Bryer delivers another ‘tasty and well-presented’ dish

As well as cooking, the apprenticeship covers food hygiene, preparation, management, team work scenarios and paperwork.

“It’s everything involved in running a kitchen,” says Chelsea, who was the college’s Culinary Apprentice of the Term at the end of 2017.  I’m also learning the specific requirements of a care home kitchen and how to adapt menus when residents have, for example, allergies or other nutritional needs. I’m really getting to know the residents and enjoying every minute. Ideally, I’d like to run my own kitchen in future. I have a huge amount of support from Colten.”

Fergus adds: “We actively cultivate the skills and imagination of our chefs and Chelsea is a good example of someone ambitious for the future   who is building their career with us.”

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