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A Day in the Life of a Head Chef

Steve Pakiry left his home in Mauritius in 1974 and started a flourishing catering career before he joined Hartford Care in 2016. He is head chef at Hartford Court in Portsmouth.

My role

I normally work  from 8am to 6pm, four days a week, preparing and serving our residents home-cooked meals. I ensure they enjoy the best food experience daily and that relatives are happy with their loved one’s food. I take pride in creating food that makes them happy, as well as giving them all the nutrition they need. Every afternoon, I speak to the residents, listening to their feedback on the food, to ensure my team and I are meeting their needs and expectations. I create 28 different main meals a month and everything is freshly made. My favourite dishes are lamb roast dinners and fish & chips.

A typical day

I check that freezers and fridges are working, and everything is kept fresh. I chat with residents over breakfast and talk to team members about any feedback they have received. I prepare my menus, print them and share them around the home, then at 10.30am, I meet the care home manager to discuss ideas and future events. Then lunch is prepared and served.

On Thursdays, I hold baking sessions with residents, then I prepare supper. I do my paperwork and admin work to prepare rotas, check budgets and review stock levels in case additional items need to be ordered. I check that food is properly labelled and placed in correct areas of the fridges. Finally, I ensure the kitchen is clean before closing everything down by 6.30pm.

What I enjoy about my job

I love the buzz and am happy when I know that people have eaten well. My role is also to mentor and motivate my colleagues. I try to develop natural skills and interests within my team. For example, one of our housekeepers now has a passion for cake decorating!

Why I love working for Hartford Care

I like the autonomy and trust given to me which allows me to ‘get on with the job’, but at the same time, I get great support from head office and the team in the home, so I know where I can go for help and resources if needed.

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