One of Care UK’s team of nutrition and hydration experts has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award that recognises and celebrates excellence, innovation and education in the field of care catering.
James Clear, Care UK’s hotel services manager, has been shortlisted by the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) in the Catering Manager of the Year category of its annual awards.
James, who advises Care UK’s homes across the south of England including East Anglia and Essex, also delivers free public seminars to help people caring for older loved ones create nutritious meals that are not only tasty but increase wellbeing.
James, who lives in Ipswich, said: “I am very excited and honoured to have been shortlisted for such an important award. The NACC has done a great deal to raise catering standards and increase the public’s awareness of the importance of hydration and nutritional balance for older people.”
James draws on 21 years of experience as a head chef in pubs and hotels in Suffolk, as well as through previously running his own wedding and event catering business in Ipswich, in order to train Care UK chefs.
“Care catering is the most rewarding sector of catering I have worked in. We treat our residents as we would like our own relatives to be treated and so we are always delighted when we see their faces light up as they enjoy their favourite meals.
“Care UK has invested heavily in training courses for our chefs so we can keep ahead of the changes to people’s dietary requirements and preferences. This year alone we have had butchery masterclasses, seafood workshops and ethnic and Asian cookery classes.”
“We also work hard to source the best, fresh food and we menu plan by the residents’ needs and likes. This can often involve regional favourites, so menus in Bournemouth look different from those in Aberdeen.”
Care UK has designed a book, Eating As We Age, and is holding seminars in many of its 117 homes nationwide to explain how to create nutritious meals that are easy to eat as well as being attractive.
James said: “The issue for many is that as loved ones age their appetites diminish and keeping up sufficient calorie intake to keep them healthy and well-nourished can be difficult. With that in mind we spend a great deal of time talking to our residents and their relatives to establish what they enjoy and how we can provide them with it in a way that suits their medical needs.”
The winners will be announced on Thursday 6 October 2016 at the NACC Awards dinner, which takes place at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham, during the NACC Training & Development Forum 2016.