Home of Compassion opens academy kitchen in honour of chef


A new development kitchen, which has been dedicated to the life of a chef who died of Covid, has been opened at Home of Compassion by the Mayor of Elmbridge.

The Joe Floris Hospitality and Catering Academy Development kitchen was launched by Councillor Simon Waugh during a Dementia Roadshow last month.

The new kitchen is named after chef Joe Floris, who worked at the home and sadly passed away during the height of the pandemic. It will be used as a centre of excellence to develop and train chefs within the Aria Care Group, but there are also hopes it will be a venue for use by external stakeholders.

It is the brainchild of Steve Harding, Executive Development and Dementia Catering Lead, and Steve Wright, Group Executive Head Chef, who were both instrumental in the build up and delivery of the event, as well as the opening and running of the development kitchen.

The roadshow took place on Thursday, 22nd September, began with a tour around the Home, before a presentation and ‘experience’ session introduced the specialist dementia training which supports colleagues to continuously improve the lives of people living with dementia.

Aria Care’s dementia training is the only dementia programme currently assured by City and Guilds.

Guests, including the Mayor, the Kingston Hospital Dementia and Delirium Team, Kingston Alzheimer’s Society and Lost Chord – a charity supporting people living with dementia via music stimuli – were also treated to street food, as well as food and drink demonstrations from senior chefs.

Steve Harding said: “We are delighted to have been able to launch the development kitchen – named after one of our beloved chefs, Joe Floris, who we remember fondly – and would like to thank everyone who came to what was a fantastic roadshow event.

“This kitchen is a huge step forward, not only in terms of Aria Care’s dementia strategy, but, in time, for the wider community to help those living with dementia to live the best lives possible.”

Aria Care believes that by 2023, more than 900 of its residents will be living with dementia and the company wants to highlight their commitment to providing these residents with the very best care.

Home of Compassion offers residential care, nursing care and dementia care. For more information, or to visit the home, call the friendly team on 0808 223 5525.