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Top Chef Opens Hospital Restaurant

19 September 2018

Galton 2V2

Renowned Norfolk Chef Galton Blackiston officially opened the James Paget’s new-look restaurant today after visiting the hospital’s kitchen – and declared: “I’m impressed.’

Mr Blackiston, who owns the Michelin-starred Morston Hall restaurant in North Norfolk, was invited to open Aubergine Restaurant after it was given an extensive make-over earlier this year.

Formerly only open to staff, the restaurant now welcomes patients and visitors too and serves a range of freshly-prepared hot and cold food prepared on the premises by the hospital’s in-house catering team.

The catering team prepare more than 2000 meals per day, including over 400 meals, three times per day, for patients – with a budget of £3 per patient per day.

Mr Blackiston chatted with catering staff as they prepared the day’s lunch menu before he was invited by Chief Executive Christine Allen to officially open the restaurant by cutting a ribbon.

“I have just been through to the kitchen - and I am impressed,” said Mr Blackiston. “What impresses me is there is a massive ethos in the team to use fresh ingredients, locally sourced and seasonal wherever they can, under such financial constraints.

“I love the principle of cooking in-house in hospitals because, in some places, it’s all bought in. To have it in-house and be able to provide hot, varied meals on a daily basis has to aid recovery and I am really supportive of that.”

Head of Facilities Management Nichola Hicks said: “We are delighted that Galton could find the time to open our restaurant and see our kitchens, where our catering team work so hard to provide freshly-prepared dishes and a varied menu for our patients, visitors and staff.

“We are also pleased that he has endorsed our approach, which is to use fresh, local ingredients in our dishes wherever we can.”

The official opening of the restaurant comes just a week after a new M&S Food to Go outlet opened in the foyer, which will provide the hospital with an income stream which will go towards patient care.

Together, the new facilities provide patients, visitors and staff greater choice when they want to eat or drink while in the hospital.