Care catering often gets a bad press, but this year the first AA rosette has been awarded for it.
The award went to classically trained chef Robert Quehan due to his original approach to care catering. Instead of serving up average grub, the chef aimed to serve fine-dining food that is made with fresh high-quality ingredients.
Does Care Catering Have a Bad Reputation?
This award really shows that care catering has moved on from the days of economical re-heated meals that are forgettable and bland. According to the NACC, the care catering business mostly focuses on serving meals in residential homes or day care centres, providing food for the young, the elderly, the vulnerable and the disabled.
Because of this, many people assume that care caterers provide a ‘meals on wheels’ type of service with frozen food that is very dull, but in reality the care catering industry has moved forward in leaps and bounds in the last few years.
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Today many care caterers are providing a range of delicious fresh meals every day – and this is definitely in part due to Robert Quehan and his impeccable menu. The chef initially worked at extremely luxurious restaurants such as the Dorchester, the Ivy and his own restaurant Chesil Rectory, which won two rosettes of its own.
After over two decades working in the restaurant industry, Robert decided to move over to care catering – but why?
His interest was initially sparked after he received a proposition from Anchor Trust. The company wanted to combine simple food with fine dining to create an improved care catering experience, which he found exciting.
Now he has been working as a care catering chef for over 18 months, and he already has another AA rosette to his name. He oversees cooking for a care home while also managing a local food shop, and he loves his new lifestyle.
So what is the menu like? Apparently, Robert loves to use braising and sous-vide to produce softer meats that are easy to digest, and he also enjoys serving fresh fish with vegetables, including asparagus, garlic and mushrooms. Sounds delicious!