James Paget Hospital’s refurbished restaurant reopened by top chef

Galton Blackiston with James Paget Hospital's Chief Executive Christine Allen, opening Aubergine Re

Galton Blackiston with James Paget Hospital's Chief Executive Christine Allen, opening Aubergine Restaurant (C) JPH - Credit: JPH

A Norfolk hospital which recognises that good food is essential as part of the treatment it offers has revamped its restaurant. The James Paget's Aubergine Restaurant has been offically opened by a Michelin-starred chef who gave the canteen his seal of approval.

The James Paget hospital Picture: Nick Butcher

The James Paget hospital Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

It's one of Norfolk's busiest restaurants, serving thousands of meals every day to a discerning crowd of diners: the James Paget Hospital's new-look restaurant has been officially opened by top chef Galton Blackiston.

Aubergine Restaurant, on the first floor of the hospital, has been given an extensive makeover and caters for patients, visitors and staff with a range of freshly-prepared hot and cold food made on the premises by the hospital's in-house catering team.

The team prepare more than 2,000 meals per day, including over 400 meals, three times per day, for patients – with a budget of £3 per patient per day.

Patient meals are prepared according to individual dietary needs, which mean there are a wide variety of menus for those who are diabetic or need high protein, low potassium or a variety of allergies or intolerances.

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Mr Blackiston, who owns the Michelin-starred Morston Hall restaurant in North Norfolk, was invited by Chief Executive Christine Allen to officially open the restaurant. He said: 'I have just been through to the kitchen - and I am impressed. 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.'

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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.

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