Aged Care Hero: Dean Hitchcock from Ultimate Care Ranburn, Waipu

Dean chef

Dean Hitchcock has been at Ultimate Care Ranburn since June 2017 and one of the first things that struck Andrea Heagh, Facility Manager, was how passionate he was about the meal service he offers to the residents.

“He goes above and beyond every day, seriously every day!"

"If a resident wants a cooked breakfast Dean happily obliges, nothing is too much trouble.  He really cares about the resident’s, he has a fantastic communication style and his sense of humour often leaves them smiling and laughing," said Andrea.

"It is very apparent that this is not just a job to Dean he cares about the residents, his kitchen team and the quality of the food.  He educates and supports his kitchen team and they are all aware that if they have any problem he is available to help.

Dean loves producing flavoursome meals for elderly people.

“I have loved cooking since I was the age of ten.  I knew from a young age I was going to be a chef and I love it to pieces. I cook at work and then come home and cook my wife’s meals as well.  One of my favourite memories as a child was cooking cakes with my mum and auntie. They were amazing cooks and made the best lemon syrup cake. This was my favourite cake as a kid”.

I’ve been in the hospitality industry for over 46 years. Owning my own restaurant for 21 years in the Bay of Plenty. I spent four years in Pukehina, Bay of Plenty where I owned a superette and café bar by the beach as well as being a contract caterer at Chelsea Sugar.  My hobbies are cooking and hunting. I only hunt what I will be cooking, hunting deer and goat as game meat is my favourite.”

Dean’s favourite dish to cook for residents is a steamed fish with a turmeric sauce and shrimp in pastry.

“This is also our residents favourite," he said.

"Ultimate Care Ranburn is a great place to work, I love listening to our residents. I’m always fascinated by their memories and stories of their life experiences that they have to share. I love that I am able to hear about their lives.”