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A portrait photo of our chef Gavin Duce. He stands in the kitchens and smiles to the camera.

Gavin Duce, Head Chef

"Whatever you make, it could be the last thing that person ever eats so you have to put your heart and soul into everything"

I’ve been in catering all my life, starting with a weekend job when I was 15 at Eckington Hall. I then completed a Modern Apprenticeship and worked for a brewery chain and then at Sheffield University before I came to St Luke’s when I was 22.

I’ve seen lots of changes in the time I’ve been here but I still enjoy my job as much as I ever did.

The important thing is knowing that it’s about what we can do for the people we serve; people who are at the end of their lives.

I’ve always told my team that whether it’s something as basic as baked beans on toast or something really extravagant, you must always remember that whatever you make, it could be the last thing that person ever eats so you have to put your heart and soul into everything.

That rule applies to every meal we prepare for patients in our In Patient Centre and also for our Community care packages, which are full of freshly produced soups, home made parkin, fresh smoothies and freshly squeezed orange juice.

A photograph of fish and chips. A lemon wedge sits on top. It is accompanied by mushy peas and tartar sauce.
A photograph of Toad in the Hole. There is a pot of gravy next to it, and some small bottles of Henderson's Relish in the background.

Anybody can train to be a chef in a restaurant but working in the St Luke’s kitchens is different because you are changing people’s lives and whatever they want, we will do our very best to get it for them.

We’ve got a great team of highly trained and skilled people in our kitchen and we have a great set of skills between us.

We cater for staff and visitors too and then sometimes we will be asked if we can prepare food for something like a patient’s wedding and we really do want them to have a very special day. They’ll ask for a cake and think they’ll probably be getting a simple sponge but we’ll deliver a three-tier wedding cake and it’s worth the effort when you see how surprised and pleased they are.

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