Caterer Training

Caterer Training

Training Courses Catering for Older Vegetarians and Vegans

As well as having a team of in-house Roving Chefs, Vegetarian for Life operates one-day training courses in conjunction with the renowned Vegetarian Society Cookery School in Cheshire, and Demuths Cookery School, in Bath. The courses include practical demonstrations, and the opportunity to taste and assess the foods prepared. Delegates learn more about vegetarians and vegans, the relevant nutrition and how to adapt recipes easily. An alternative version of the course, developed for Abbeyfield homes, is also available, where delegates produce a lunchtime meal for the residents.

Geraldine Gilpin from Abbeyfield in Northern Ireland said, referring to her staff:

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.

Here’s what other past attendees have said:

Feedback forms show that 93% of participants rate the Demuths’ one-day 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 North West & Wales, HC-One

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

Says Carol Gilligan, who has run a care home for 27 years:

I recently held a vegetarian week with the agreement of residents. It was very popular and there wasn’t a single complaint!

The courses can take place on the premises of a host organisation, anywhere in the UK, in the Vegetarian Society Cookery School training kitchens in Altrincham, Cheshire, or at Demuths Cookery School, in Bath. Delegate numbers are usually restricted to between 10 and 14. When a care group acts as host these may all be from that group, but if an individual home wishes to host a course, and does not have enough delegates, VfL is happy to invite staff from other homes in the region.

Course fees, heavily subsidised by VfL, are currently just £25 per delegate, including lunch.

Courses are available only to members of the VfL UK – List. Membership is free and joining couldn’t be easier – just go to the best practice page, check you meet our criteria and join online. There are many other benefits of being a member, including free marketing for your home(s), and regular new recipes for your residents to enjoy. And, of course, membership and the training are valuable in your efforts towards Equality and Diversity.

George Sampson, Head of Hospitality at MHA says:

These courses have helped a number of our staff members to provide more variety for vegetarians – one in particular has created a number of new soups from vegan ingredients. We are very happy that they have helped us to improve our person-centred care at excellent value for money.

VfL has also available a short (20 minutes) training DVD that is condensed from the training courses and gives nutritional tips and demonstrates three recipes. This is available free of charge to all members of the UK – List and also to related charities.

Training can cover a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Dietary diversity and inclusivity in the care sector
  • What is and is not suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Principles of plant-based nutrition for older adults
  • Understanding the needs of vegetarian and vegan residents
  • Working with meat and dairy alternatives
  • Mastering new ingredients, e.g. tofu/lentils
  • Hospital catering
  • Menu planning and recipes
  • Adapting traditional recipes
  • Vegetarian and vegan food fortification methods
  • How to cater for vegetarian and vegan residents.

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

Interested in our caterer training programme?