Class of 2023 graduate from Barchester Chef Academy

Twenty head chefs – the Class of 2023 – have completed one year’s training to graduate from the Barchester Chef Academy.

The Academy is the brainchild of Barchester’s hospitality development and standards manager, Mervyn Knights, who joined Barchester 21 years ago as a kitchen assistant and worked his way up through the ranks to head chef and then to his current position as part of the team overseeing hospitality training across the whole of Barchester. Along with the rest of the hospitality team, Mervyn’s role is to ensure that the food being produced in Barchester’s 258 care homes and private meets Barchester’s high standards of quality, taste, nutrition, and presentation, and that dishes are being prepared to the exact requirements of our individual residents.

The Barchester Chef Academy helps chefs to both hone their skills and learn new ones, covering many different modules including cooking for residents living with dementia, budgeting, balancing flavours, minimising wastage, and presentation skills.

Mervyn Knights said: “I am absolutely delighted at how well the Academy has been received by everyone who attended the course, it has been such a positive experience for all involved. We have already started work with the Academy’s new Class of 2024 who are really enjoying the programme so far and who I know will go on to achieve great things.”

Barchester Healthcare CEO Dr Pete Calveley added: “I am a huge fan of the Academy, not least because I have had the pleasure of sampling some of the fantastic dishes produced by our talented chefs. I am impressed by the high standard of cooking and by how beautifully everything is presented. I am incredibly proud of all of the chefs that took part in the Academy this year, I know they produce wonderful food for our residents and patients, cooked to their individual preferences, every single day. I am also exceptionally proud of Mervyn and all that he has achieved with the Academy, it is a brilliant initiative and one that I know will go from strength to strength under his leadership.”

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