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Les Ormes’ head chef back in kitchen to help Caring Cooks

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LES Ormes may be closed, but the site’s head chef is getting back into the kitchen to help feed Jersey’s community.

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Trevor Howard, who is married to nurse Stacy and has been home-schooling their children Jacob (11) and Rosie (6) during the coronavirus measures, will be reopening the kitchen to cook meals as part of Caring Cooks’ project to deliver meals to Islanders in need.

In doing so he will be helping Caring Cooks scale up its operation – which previously ran just one day a week – to deliver hundreds of nutritious meals six days a week to Islanders who are sick, isolated, in financial crisis or facing other challenges at this time.

Mr Howard said: ‘There is nothing better than getting together as a family to eat and now is the time to celebrate good wholesome food, to all stay healthy and build up our immunities.’

The project is just one that the Bosdet Foundation, the charitable foundation which runs Les Ormes, is part of in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Les Ormes managing director Mike Graham said: ‘I am humbled by the attitude and commitment of the whole Les Ormes and Bosdet Foundation teams who are coming together during this lockdown. This has enabled us to offer support to our parish residential home, Maison St Brelade, for critical services such as cleaning and catering. We will also be working alongside Caring Cooks using our kitchens and kitchen team to help scale up their operation and feed more people, possibly up to 500 per day, and deliver food Islandwide.’

A website created by Bosdet in 2016 to pair volunteers with charities in need of help – volunteer.je – is being used in partnership with the government to co-ordinate the volunteer response to the coronavirus situation. Hundreds of people have so far volunteered to help this way.

Alan Le Pavoux, charity manager of the Bosdet Foundation, added: ‘With the pandemic reaching our Island we saw a massive influx of locals wanting to volunteer and so volunteer.je joined forces with the Government of Jersey to offer a co-ordinated approach to volunteering. Since the beginning of March, we have been processing the registration of volunteers and helping organisations to find the right volunteers, with the right skills, to match their needs. We have been overwhelmed by the amount of people who want to help. We thank you all.’

Caring Cooks is working with the government on the meal-delivery service. Donations are being collected to allow it to provide nutritious two-course meals to vulnerable families and those struggling financially. A two-course meal costs £4.50 and donations can be made by visiting crowdfunder.co.uk/covid-19---community-meal-service. The charity has so far raised almost £11,500 of its £15,000 target.

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Trevor’s gnocchi with chicken, basil and broccoli dish is a real family pleaser and great to make together

Ingredients

1tbsp cooking oil

500g of chicken breast cut into stir-fry strips

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2 small leeks, sliced diagonally

500g ready-made gnocchi

200g broccoli in bite-sized pieces

85g crème fraîche

1tbsp mustard (whole grain or Dijon)

10g basil, roughly chopped

3tbsp fresh lemon juice

3tbsp of toasted pine kernels (walnuts or almonds)

Salt and pepper

Parmesan to finish

Method:

Stage 1

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan, then add the chicken strips. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes then add the leeks and turn to high heat for another 3-4 minutes.

Stage 2

Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the gnocchi and broccoli, then cook for 3-4 minutes.

Stage 3

Drain the gnocchi and broccoli and stir into the chicken mixture.

Stage 4

Mix together the crème fraîche, mustard, chopped basil and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir into the wok.

Stage 5

Serve immediately, sprinkled with the toasted pine kernels and finish with some freshly grated Parmesan and a drizzle of good Tuscan olive oil.

Lucy Stephenson

By Lucy Stephenson
author

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