What does a Cook in a care home do?

30 June 2023

Cook making cookies

Imagine being able to use your catering skills to make a real difference in people’s lives.

That’s what our Catering Team does every day! In this blog we look at the role of a Cook in an Exemplar Care Home, and show why it’s such a rewarding career choice.

What do Cooks in care homes do?

Cooks in care homes are responsible for providing delicious, healthy and nutritious meals for the people they support.

Meal times can be quite special to those in a care home, and the Cooks ensure that the people eating have a positive dining experience.

The Cooks in care homes are a key part of meal time structure and help promote social interaction and building of a community.

Why should you work as a Cook in a care home?

Nutrition is an important aspect of the care we provide, and is a critical part of a person’s health.

By working as a Cook in a care home, you’ll be a vital part of the care we provide, and will make a clear difference every day.

Being a Cook in a care home allows you to express your culinary creativity whilst also being part of a team that drastically improves the lives of those around you.

Why be a Cook in an Exemplar Health Care home?

Being a Cook in an Exemplar Health Care home is a very exciting role that allows you to use your cooking skills and make a real difference.

In contrast to a commercial kitchen, you’ll have a lot more interaction with your ‘customers’. You will be working in the home of the individual you are cooking for, allowing you to get to know their likes and dislikes.

The people we support are individuals, and deserve to be treated as such. Our individuals have a range of cultural and religious backgrounds, as well as different dietary needs, allowing you to get creative with your meals.

One of our values is fun, and we expect our Cooks to get involved in all aspects of care home life. There’ll be lots of opportunities to use your creative flair to make tasty treats for activities, events and parties in the home.

The role is varied, but as a general guide your responsibilities will involve the following:

  • Preparing and cooking nutritious meals and snacks.
  • Promoting choice and independence through meal times.
  • Ensuring health and safety for all service users.
  • Working as part of a team to create a comfortable and safe environment.

All employees at Exemplar Health Care must embody our values of fun, integrity, responsiveness, success and teamwork. If you do this, you’re off to a great start.

You can read more about our values and what they mean on our website: www.exemplarhc.com/careers/our-values.

What skills and qualifications do you need to be a Cook in an Exemplar Health Care home?

To apply for this role, you must have a food hygiene certificate. We’d also like our Cooks to have first aid in the workplace and relevant catering qualifications, such as an NVQ or diploma, but these aren’t necessary.

As well as these, some person specific skills are essential to ensure you can complete your job to the best of your ability, these include:

  • Great interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills to ensure great communication throughout your workplace.
  • Creative thinking skills that can be transferred into your food.
  • Time management and organisational skills that ensure your kitchen is an efficient working space.
  • Relevant experience in a similar role and/or working environment that has given you a working knowledge of a kitchen and cooking.
  • Flair and enthusiasm for cooking with fresh ingredients.
  • Relevant understanding of legislation and regulations.
  • Motivated and can do attitude.

For the full job description and person specification, head here.

When you start, you’ll do a four day welcome induction which covers mandatory and statutory training including safeguarding, person-centred care and infection prevention and control.

After that, you’ll do a role specific induction in your home.

Throughout your employment, you’ll have regular supervisions and Performance Development Reviews (PDRs) with your Manager. During your PDR, you’ll review your progress, celebrate your achievements, address any issues and identify your career aspirations.

There are lots of opportunities to continue your learning and progress in your career if you wish.

Who do you support in Exemplar Health Care homes?

Exemplar Health Care is a leading provider of specialist nursing care for adults living with a range of complex needs.

Our homes tend to specialise in supporting people with specific conditions and disabilities such as Huntington’s disease, brain injuries, spinal injuries, mental health needs, learning disabilities or dementia.

Across all of our homes, one thing remains the same - our cooks play a vital role in supporting people to stay healthy through balanced meals.

Our mission is to make every day better for the people we support and our colleagues.

Our vision is that adults living with complex needs can access outstanding specialist care and support, in a community-based home that’s close to their family and friends, and that’s focused on their personal goals and outcomes.

How to apply

Visit our online job search to find a Cook role at Exemplar Health Care.

We look forward to hearing from you!