Caterer Training

Caterer Training

Training Courses – Catering for Older Vegetarians and Vegans​

Can your care establishment cater well and ethically for older vegans and vegetarians? Highly-subsidised expertise is now available.

The popularity of vegan and vegetarian diets is growing at an unprecedented rate in the UK. Are you equipped to cater for the rising number of vegan and vegetarian residents? Or does the thought of catering for a new vegan resident fill you with dread?

  • 1 in 3 Brits have stopped or reduced their meat consumption.
  • Older people (65 to 79 years) are leading the way. They are twice as likely to have reduced their meat consumption as 18- to 24-year-olds.
  • Demand for meat-free food increased by 987% in 2017. Going vegan was predicted to be the biggest food trend in 2018.
  • There’s been a 360% increase in the number of UK vegans in the last decade.

Leading the way for care facilities and food suppliers

It is important that the care sector responds to the increasing demand for vegan and vegetarian dishes. Vegetarian for Life is here to help you successfully meet the challenge.

Vegetarian for Life is the leading authority on diet and healthy living advice for older vegans and vegetarians. One of the charity’s major goals is to improve the standard of vegan and vegetarian catering by promoting its UK List – a directory of care facilities and food suppliers that follow its best practice guide, pledging to cater well and ethically for older vegans and vegetarians.

If you cater for older vegans or vegetarians, our team of nutritionists and roving chefs can deliver bespoke caterer training for you, in-house – no matter where you are in the UK. Whether you’re after a speaker for an in-house nutrition seminar, or someone to help your chefs navigate the unfamiliar territory of catering for a vegan resident, VfL has the resources to help.

We can also give your team access to our online training series, entitled ‘care catering for vegetarians and vegans’. Furthermore, if you’d like to be known as the very best, we can heavily subsidise full-day care caterer training courses. These can be delivered on site, or at the prestigious Vegetarian Society Cookery School in Altrincham, and Demuths Vegetarian Cookery School in Bath – all for just £25 per person.

Our training includes practical cookery demonstrations – and the best bit – the opportunity to sample the delicious food cooked on the day!


Here’s what past attendees have said:

Feedback forms show that 93% of participants rate the one-day care caterer training 5 out of 5, and go on to introduce new meals and tasting sessions for their residents.

Thank you for a great workshop. I found the day very informative and the information valuable.

Sandra Brown, Hospitality Specialist Midlands, North West & Wales, HC-One

These courses have helped a number of our staff members to provide more variety for vegetarians. We are very happy that they have helped us to improve our person-centred care at excellent value for money.

George Sampson, Head of Hospitality, MHA

This training should be an essential part of all care chefs’ training to fully understand the intricacies of vegetarian and vegan diets. Every head chef in a care home should have this training.

Christopher Dean, Director of Procurement, Sunrise Senior Living

The course gave them confidence at meal planning and in meeting residents’ nutritional needs. Now they are more confident not only at catering for vegetarian residents, but also for those who prefer to eat less meat as they age.

Geraldine Gilpin, Abbeyfield in Northern Ireland

Meet the team

Ellie Murphy

Ellie Murphy

Cookery & Training Outreach Coordinator

Ellie has a background in food and nutrition and has worked in the community sector delivering cookery courses and nutrition training for a number of years. Having worked for the NHS for 9 years and in recent years founding her own business, she is looking forward to combining multiple interests in her role as cookery and training outreach co-ordinator, supporting older vegetarians and vegans.

Outside of V for Life she enjoys cooking new vegan recipes, travel and trying new dishes from around the world.

Claire Bannerman

Claire Bannerman

Roving Chef (Scotland)

Claire has a love for vegetarian food that led to her studying Food Processing at Glasgow College of Food Technology. Here she began her culinary journey into food manufacturing, development and food safety training. Hungry for more knowledge on the influence of food on our wellbeing, Claire went on to become a REHIS accredited tutor and a Healthyliving Award Assessor.

In addition, she works closely with the NHS Health Improvement Teams to provide community cookery demos across central Scotland.

Alex Connell

Alex Connell

Roving Chef (North)

Alex has been a vegetarian for the past 30 years, 10 of which as a vegan. Alex has had a variety of roles in the catering industry, from teaching in secondary schools, to preparing meals for the Youth Hostel Association, through to delivering training to professional chefs. Most recently, Alex was the Principal Tutor at The Vegetarian Society Cookery School. In 2019, Alex joined the team of chefs working for Vegetarian for Life. He says: “Working in the care sector has its own set of challenges and rewards. I hope to able to pass on my passion for excellent vegetarian and vegan catering to chefs, managers and above all those we care for.”

Justina Bajorinaite

Justina Bajorinaite

Roving Chef (Central)

Justina is a Culinary Arts Management graduate who brings knowledge and passion for sustainable, plant-based eating. She has managed a variety of groups of chefs and created her own menus, working in both Italian and theatre restaurants. Justina is passionate about experimenting with different/unusual flavours and baking. She enjoys travelling and seeking inspiration in cuisines around the globe.

Oliver Bragg

Oliver Bragg

Roving Chef (South)

Working as an artist and combining this with an interest in nutritional health, Oliver aims to create healthy, beautiful dishes that reflect his passion for seasonality and sustainability.

As a chef he has worked in a variety of kitchens ranging from raw food to award-winning vegetarian cuisine. He enjoys redefining contemporary non-meat cuisine by experimenting with original flavour combinations and modern techniques, as well as considering optimum nutritional needs. He enjoys working with others in educating on plant-based diets.

Training can cover a wide variety of topics, including:

Care catering for older vegetarians and vegans webinar series Five 30-minute online seminars that you can watch and replay at your leisure. British Dietetic Association accredited. Click here to initiate access.

Meat-free 101 – A half-day introduction to catering for your vegetarian and vegan residents

Dietary diversity and inclusivity in the care sector – If I get dementia will they serve me meat?

Vegan baking – Full day course to learn the secrets to creating tasty bakes without eggs or dairy

Vegan cheese masterclass – Inspiring half-day course for insight into the textures, flavours and health benefits of raw, fermented nut cheese and how to make it

Care caterer training – One-day caterer training at Demuths or The Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Cookery demos at events – Practical cookery demonstrations at small- or large-scale events and conferences

Chef training – One-to-one or with a small group of chefs to help improve their veg*n menu offering and assist with any issues

We can deliver highly subsidised, bespoke caterer training for you in house, no matter where you are in the UK. Our training includes practical cookery demonstrations and of course the opportunity to taste the food.

To request further information, please fill in the contact form below, and a member of our team will get back to you.

Interested in our caterer training programme?