Care Homes | 1st Jan 2021

Dish jockey by day, disc jockey by night. There is little that Colin Large doesn’t know about what makes a hit, whether it’s on the dining table or on the dance floor. 

Colin started at Rochcare 18 months ago and feels firmly at home. After qualifying from Nelson & Colne Catering College, his first job was in a care home kitchen and he has been working in the sector ever since, while still continuing with his passion for the DJ decks.    

Colin Large, head chef, comments:

“I always loved cooking from a young age and following school, I never really thought of anything else as a career, outside of being a superstar DJ. My first kitchen job was in the care sector and I quickly realised that it was a very rewarding place to work. The care home kitchen has changed massively from what it was in the early 1990s and the choice and quality of food and drink is unrecognisable. It’s been exciting to see the development and I feel privileged to now be part of Rochcare, who I honestly believe have raised the bar once again.”

Rochcare is a proudly independent, family-run residential care provider, which was first set up in the early 1980s. The company has grown in those years and now has four residential care homes for older people – including Royley House, which also caters for those living with dementia. Two of the homes in particular, have a rich history as many seasoned locals in Burnley will remember Bank Hall, as the town’s former maternity ward. Rochcare also offers a fantastic respite care service and a home care service providing support to people living independently in their own homes.

Colin explains:

“As soon as I heard that my old employer had been bought by a big corporate, national care company, I knew it was time to leave. For me, the best care homes are like a family where the service is personal and there is a real community spirit. I think it’s vital that guests and staff interact and are involved in the decision-making process so that the food and drink is tailored, offers variety and plenty of excitement. Thankfully, Rochcare has been built on this mantra.”

As to the food and drink offering at Rochcare, Colin has been impressed with the regular resident forums and the sharing of ideas, which provide a great opportunity for discussion on what has been working, what hasn’t and what is on the horizon.

“We involve the residents as much as possible when looking to mix up the menus or run special days and we link up with the other Rochcare sites and teams to share ideas and insights. We’re always looking to improve and our residents are becoming more experimental each year so my wholesaler and the Country Range Brand have been a massive help in driving our creativity. Spices and curries seem to be the big thing at the moment alongside the classic comfort dishes like casseroles, stews and, of course, our mighty weekly roast dinner.”

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