New Culinary Care Cook Book launched in Plymouth

Care home residents and staff, Commissioners and health partners across Plymouth have come together to produce a very special cook book.

The city’s very first Culinary Care Cookbook was launched at City College Plymouth’s PL1 Restaurant and features recipes that have been developed by Culinary Care Teams and people who live in care homes, and produced in partnership with the City Council, City College Plymouth and Plymouth’s Creative Design Professionals.

Councillor Kate Taylor, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social care said:  “This book is a fantastic idea, it’s really great to see so many people working together to produce something that helps support some of our most vulnerable residents. Ensuring that older people have sufficient and nutritious food to eat and having a healthy diet is important within a care home and this cook book supports enhancing good nutrition and hydration.”

Food and mealtimes are an important aspect of a care home resident’s daily routine, encouraging socialising with other residents and playing a significant part in their quality of life and health and wellbeing. Residents have shared their individual experiences of the importance of food, as well as innovative approaches towards supporting a healthy seasonal and nutritional diet.

The Cook Book has also supported the development of chefs working in care homes. Working with City College Plymouth, the Council have developed an NVQ Level 2 for Culinary Care Teams who work in care homes. The NVQ has been developed to recognise the importance of culinary care teams in the care sector, and to enhance the skills of Culinary Care Teams across the City. The first cohort of students for this qualification will begin their course in January 2020. This follows a full day of training delivered to 100 care home chefs earlier in the year by a nationally renowned dysphagia chef, Gary Brailsford from Dining with Dignity.

Mike Jones, Business and Engagement Manager from City College said: “We are very excited to be working with the care sector to develop the skills of their culinary teams. This project has enabled our students and lecturers to look at the less traditional side of hospitality and gain an understanding of the valuable service delivered by care home teams. They have enjoyed finding out about the needs of care residents and designing a programme to support with further development of their skills, and will be incorporating some of the recipes into their practical sessions.”

Providing more than just recipes, the Culinary Care Cook Book is a resource to ensure people stay fit and well. In doing so, it considers people’s wishes, their dignity, and shows them the respect to provide them with a great dining service.