Our Head Chef at Trinity, James, prepares Christmas dinner for our patients at this very special time of the year. He speaks about the work behind it and why he enjoys creating these heart-warming meals for patients and families on the inpatient unit.

“Preparing the Christmas meal is a nice challenge, it is good to do something different and special. Although working on Christmas day may seem like a hardship, but at Trinity, it is a nice atmosphere to be in, and there is a sense of joviality when we serve this special meal, bringing together patients and families across the wards. 

At the Christmas lunch, it is laid out as a buffet style on a big table and we have options for everyone. We always try to cater to different groups and dietary requirements. Other than the planned preparation work we do, we are very flexible and responsive to patients’ requests and needs. We always try our best to fulfil our patients’ desires, be it some special ethnic food, lobster, or even a wedding cake, we will find ways to make it. We are also open to people bringing in their own dish to complement the Christmas meal, for example, someone brought a South Indian rice dish at the Christmas meal last year and this adds to making it as homely as possible for the patients and their families.

The preparation for the Christmas meal begins from 7am in the morning, starting by putting the turkey in the oven. It is a very busy kitchen throughout the whole morning and at any moment, there is a task at hand. Although 7am-1pm may seem like there is plenty of time to prepare, but to cater to 70 people and to ensure that all the food is ready and served warm requires some juggling and good management.

With a relatively small team, we rely on the help from our volunteers and we would not have been able to do it without them.

Our meal-time volunteers are essential for this Christmas meal and for patients who are able to, we encourage them to come out of their rooms to join us. And that is an important part of our role, making this occasion as joyful as possible when people could be going through some difficult times, and some of them spending their last Christmas here." 

Read about A Christmas in the hospice

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