Over the last ten years, Sunrise of Mobberley care home has been innovating their dining services to continually deliver exceptional meals to its residents. Led by Adam Hedges, the care home’s Dining Service Co-ordinator, Sunrise of Mobberley has made significant strides in improving its first-class dishes.
Adam joined Sunrise of Mobberley following an esteemed career in the catering industry. Having started cooking when he was just 15 years old, Adam went on to study Catering at college before being enrolled into a School of Excellence after impressing his tutors. Graduating from his studies, Adam took various positions in hotels and restaurants before coming across an opening at Sunrise of Mobberley.
Joining in 2009, Adam went on to be promoted to his current position after just three months. Now, with over ten years’ experience in the care home’s kitchen, he has overseen immense changes to not only the variety and quality of the dishes the care home serves its residents, but introduced a culture founded on a commitment to detail.
Speaking of his introduction to Sunrise of Mobberley, Adam said:
“I first came across an opening for a Kitchen Porter position at Sunrise of Mobberley. I had been wanting to move away from the intensity and relentlessness of restaurant environments and saw this as an ideal opportunity to progress my career while benefitting from an improved work-life balance. After joining the catering team, I quickly moved onto my current position where I was able to implement various changes to improve the quality of our kitchen’s output.”
As part of these changes, Adam sought to create a truly restaurant-style experience for the care home’s residents. This has permeated all aspects of the kitchen, ranging from the table service residents experience and creating menus based around resident favourites, through to adapting well-loved classics into pureed dishes for those residents with restricted dietary requirements.
“I wanted to ensure that those residents who are on pureed diets are still able to enjoy food just as much as they had earlier in their lives. While these dishes can be challenging to create, we’ve invested time in trialling and experimenting to ensure all dishes remain thoroughly enjoyable.
“For example, current seasonal dishes which are centred around meat and vegetables do not appear particularly appetising when the dish’s component parts are blended together. To get around this, we use piping to create a variety of colours on each plate, each with their own distinctive flavours. Our roast turkey with a pigs in blanket stuffing, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sprouts and a cranberry sauce is just one example of this and is now a favourite among those on pureed diets.”
Adam has also paid particular attention to innovating the breakfast service at the care home. Noting that those on pureed diets are typically served porridge, he has now introduced plates such as pancakes and fruit to increase the variety of dishes served. By effectively recreating the flavours of pancakes in pureed form and then piping the fruit separately on top, Adam has been able to boost the enjoyment of this important meal for many residents, while also ensuring that their diets remain varied and balanced.
Although he has seen many changes during his time at Sunrise of Mobberley, he says that the COVID-19 pandemic presented one of the most challenging tasks of his career.
Before the pandemic struck in March 2020, residents would often leave the care home with friends and family to enjoy meals together at their favourite restaurants. However, with care home closures preventing residents from visiting restaurants and spending time with their loved ones, Adam went to great lengths to recreate some of the dining magic which was a staple in the lives of so many residents.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was hugely damaging to care homes in so many ways. Although the virus presented a clear threat to the lives of our residents, the safety measures which we implemented meant that they’re lives were drastically changed. For example, enjoying quality food with friends and family is vital to living a happy life, yet the pandemic meant that this was impossible for a period of time.
“Determined to give our residents access to a degree of normality, we actively asked residents for requests so they could continue to enjoy their favourite meals from the safety of the care home. Having seen the pleasure that these dishes brought to our residents, the entire kitchen was proud to have played our part in helping the care home to remain a comfortable and enjoyable environment.”
Adam’s strong experience has seen Sunrise of Mobberley innovate its dining services to deliver exceptional dishes across each meal and dining opportunity, even adapting to the demands presented by a global pandemic. Looking ahead, Adam says that the care home’s catering team will continue to innovate, always being led by the desires and requests of residents at the care home.
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