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We have been going through many changes to the world of care catering in the last few months and some of you may have noticed a large hole in the wall appear in the bistro along with a sparkly new fridge.
Sanjay had another one of his 2am great ideas, "lets put a new fridge in the bistro so we can offer a larger range of fresh healthy foods and put a window into the new texture modified foods kitchen so people can see what we are doing!"
queue the A-Team music and got the builders in!
two weeks later and.........
so what does a new kitchen need?
A new Chef,
Welcome Charlie, our new dedicated texture modification Chef.
Here she is hard at work making texture modified puree doughnuts for afternoon tea, they look and taste amazing, we cant wait to see what shes going to do next!
It’s Filip again, I’m chef for the house. We just have had a fantastic event other week which was a take away night. Along with my team we have been cooking kebabs (donner and chicken shish), pepperoni and vegetarian pizza and southern fried chicken. Early morning we have sent a printed menus to units where caring team were assisting residents helping them choose their favourite food, tick the box on menu and explain that they are having take away experience night and all food that they have ordered will be delivered to their rooms. food was cooked fresh from scratching just before 5pm. All team on board. We have had one chef on chicken kebab and pepperoni pizza, other on lamb kebab and vegetarian pizza and third of my chefs was cooking southern fried chicken and chips. Myself was calling orders and helping our kitchen assistant to put take away containers with ordered food into our paper bags with home logo on it prepared by our activity team. Once all orders for each unit were ready one of activity team’s member was taking food to units where carers were delivering them to resident’s rooms. We haven’t forgot about people being on puree diet. Our home made pureed pizza was available for all those having problems to eat solid food. They have had exactly same food as others but pureed version. Isn’t it fantastic?
Today I’m having meeting with residents and we will be planning future take away nights. I will leave it to them. I’m going to let them write down 3 countries that they would like to “visit” and get food from at next take away evening. I will choose most popular, most voted and mark those countries on big world map which we hang on wall in bistro so that way everyone will be able to check subject for actual and future months for our take away evening. I think is brilliant idea as previous themes were picked by chefs, this time we let residents choose and do our best as chefs.
Come back for more updates soon!
My name is Filip and I’m head chef for The Close Care Home. Two years ago we have bought a smoking gun to give nice, smoky flavour to food we cook in home. It was brilliant idea, residents love our smoked chicken salads or smoked fish with bit of parsley sauce. We have done a chef’s club with residents where we have been tasting in-home or prepared by our local butcher smoked cheeses, hams, sausages while one of our chefs was telling us a lot of information from types of smoking and smokers through process of preserving those protein-rich foods to quick story about smoked food in other cultures and countries – all illustrated on pictures. A lot of knowledge and fun in one
That wasn’t enough. We knew residents love it so kitchen staff have been thinking how we could improve. Over internet we have found a barbecue smoker - it looked really professional and solid.
We have had a quick chat with manager and residents, everyone loved an idea so on same day we did order two of smokers and to be honest I was so excited, couldn’t wait, ready to use it as soon as they come. Week after our smokers arrived and we did put them together so that they were ready to use.
First thing we have done was chicken breast for smoked chicken salad for supper on that day. It was just perfect, moist and tender inside, barbecued outside and that smoky flavour - delicious!
Residents loved it and they even started asking if we could do it more often so our next idea was to organise BBQ lunch which we have done week after.
BBQ smoked sausages, burgers, chicken legs, breast or even BBQ pulled pork all served with spiced cous – cous, potato salad and coleslaw on nice sunny day under clear sky in garden. What can be better than this?
We have smoked garlic for our sauces and soups, garlic butter – just amazing!
Our chefs have some other ideas for future like to smoke full beef brisket or forest mushroom and chicken sausages. During summer period we are doing barbecued and smoked food on weekly basis so feel free to pop in for one of our barbecue lunches or to try our in-home smoked chicken salad one of afternoons. Keep an eye for updates on our website and come along for one of our fetes that we do regularly for our residents and their relatives. Don’t forget to tell your friends and family, you are all very welcome
Hope to see you soon.
Take Away Night 2018
When preparing your turkey from frozen, you should:
Follow the retailer’s recommended defrosting time. The size of your turkey will determine how long it needs to be defrosted for (a large 11kg turkey can take up to two-days to defrost).
Defrost your turkey in the fridge if possible or somewhere cool. Cold temperature slows the growth of germs on food and will keep it safe and fresh.
Cover the turkey while defrosting, leave in the packaging or put it in a container to hold any thawing juices, and place it at the bottom of the fridge to avoid cross-contamination.
Defrost thoroughly, as otherwise your turkey may not cook evenly and harmful bacteria could survive the cooking process.
Raw turkey should always be put in the bottom of fridge until ready to use. Leaving on the kitchen counter at room temperature could increase your risk of food poisoning.
For the perfect roast potatoes
1.Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Peel the potatoes and cut in half; if very large, cut into quarters, or leave whole if they are small. Tip into a saucepan, cover with cold water, then bring to the boil. Set the timer and boil for exactly 2 mins. Drain the potatoes well, then toss in the colander to fluff up their surfaces, sprinkling over the flour as you go.
2. Place a large, sturdy roasting tray over a fairly high heat, then tip in the fat and oil. When sizzling, lower in the potatoes carefully, then gently brown in the hot fat for about 5 mins so all the sides are covered with oil.
3. Roast undisturbed for 20 mins, then remove from the oven and gently turn them over with a fish slice. Place the tray on the hob to heat the oil, then return to the oven and cook for another 20 mins. Turn again, putting the tray back on the hob to heat the oil. Give them a final 20 mins in the oven, by which time you should have perfect roast potatoes.
It is with Great Sadness that Charlotte Maisey has left the kitchen team to move on to new challenges, we thank her for all her time at The Close and wish her the very best of luck.
However with great excitement that we have now promoted Filip to the new post of Head Chef and Catering Manager. Filip as many of you know has been at The Close for several years and is looking forward to stepping up to be the new leader to the catering in the home. Filip is very much a hands on Chef with the food and loves to spend lots of time face to face with our guests. he will be holding a coffee morning with residents each month to talk about the food, what would you like to see on the menu, any compliments or improvements you may like to suggest. we have every confidence that Filip and his team will continue the good work in our award winning kitchens!
On the 6th of June 2017 I went to compete in the final of the NACC care home chef of the year competition which was held in London. The competition was strong as some of the chefs had been the previous year, so I had to make sure I practised to perfect my dishes. It was a 2 course meal, main course and dessert, which I had 90 minutes to complete both courses, 3 portions of each. The dishes that I submitted was a revisited classic of ham, egg and chips, with a modern twist on the classic. The dessert was a dark chocolate mousse with honey ice-cream and a gingerbread crumb. I was quite fortunate in being given the time from Charlotte to practise my dishes and make sure I was 100% happy in them. Additionally, I had a few nominees who wanted to try my finished dishes. I had so my positive feedback which gave me massive amounts of confidence going into the competition. Although I didn’t manage to win, I still feel proud of myself in the achievement of getting to the finals of a country wide competition where a lot of chefs from different care homes entered. It was my first completion that I have ever entered so there is always next year in which I can show my skills and hopefully come back with 1st place.
We have said many times before we are always striving to push both ourselves as professionals and as a caring team looking to make the service we provide better and better all the time.
As you may well know we have been improving the pureed meals for our residents and also been holding training sessions for other care homes to help improve the quality of food given in care, this is something the catering team are very passionate about indeed.
To this we have now added bespoke pureed puddings to the range we offer!
How about Caribbean style bananas with coconut and vanilla?
Pureed (Yes Pureed) fresh fruit salad!
Pureed Melon Slices with Raspberry sauce
These are just a few of the new additions we are offering to guests.
Well done to the catering team for yet again leading the way in care home food!
April 2017 food blog
Hello again and thanks for stopping by the food blog page!
this month its all about the Chocolate. well who doesn’t like chocolate? it may or may-not be included in Callum's Chef of the year competition we cant say for sure at this point but we can say that the white chocolate and raspberry Sundays went down a storm the other day.
we have been asked for the recipe by a couple of people so by popular demand here it is!
for the Blondie base
500g caster sugar
250g white chocolate
500g self raising flour
450g fresh raspberries
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until double the volume, white and fluffy
melt the chocolate and butter together and fold into the egg mix
gently fold in the flour and then the raspberries
tip into a lined baking tray about 1 inch deep
cook at 170c for 25 minutes and allow to cool
For the Sunday
200ml whipping cream
50g fresh raspberries
100g chopped white chocolate and raspberry Blondie
toasted flaked almonds to garnish
You can layer the items in the glass and garnish with the flaked almonds but we find its so much more fun to let people make there own up!
March 2017 Food Blog
Welcome to Aprils Food blog fresh from the kitchens at The Close
As some of you maybe aware we make our own homemade yoghurt in the home. We use this yoghurt for many uses from just plain yoghurt to mousse or even cheesecake mixes. However, we have now started making fresh homemade yoghurt ice cream!
We will be holding a suggestions competition in the Bistro in the oncoming month and ideas will be selected at random, once the selections have been made we will make them up into ice cream and let the residents chose there favourite, the three best will be on offer throughout the summer in the bistro.
To get you going we have started the ball rolling with Blueberry and maple syrup or creme de memph and Belgian chocolate! We will be whipping up a batch of Ginger hone and brandy later in the week!
So get your thinking hats on and let us know of any you would like to suggest.
February 2017 food blog
AH Fish & Chips, its great to reminisce about food, remembering all the things that pop into your head when thinking about food.
Fish & chips for example, close your eyes and you can probably remember being by the sea side and having fish and chips. The smell of vinegar in the air in the chip shop, the feeling of the sand in your hand from the beach or playing with a bucket and spade and even the sounds of the seagulls passing over head or the waves crashing.
All of these things are memory’s with all of your senses reminiscing together about touch, smell, taste and hearing. all of this enhances the experience of eating and also bringing back memories....
With this in mind we have developed our "fish and chip day" on Fridays to include sensory boxes. these contain the sand, bucket and spade, a spray bottle with vinegar to scent the air with, even mini deck chairs and a CD with sounds of the seaside.
The Close Care Home, Abingdon Road, Burcot, Oxon, OX14 3DP 01865407343