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A trio of Nellsar Chefs celebrate exam success at Princess Christian Care Home

Across our Nellsar Care Homes we are passionate about providing quality food and nutrition, and giving our residents a first-class dining experience with delicious, beautifully presented meals that cater for individual needs and preferences.

Our Princess Christian Care Home in Surrey is an outstanding centre of excellence in providing person-centred care, with a Catering Team dedicated not only to providing a first-class mealtime service for their residents, but to developing their own culinary skills and practices on an ongoing basis, supported by Nellsar’s Learning and Development Program. They are driven by personal growth and embracing learning opportunities, as their recent successes highlight.

We are thrilled to announce that Princess Christian’s three talented Chefs have all recently passed Catering exams with flying colours, after many months of focused studies. Cosmin and Cristian were awarded their Level 3 Senior Production Chef and Catalin achieved his Level 2 Production Chef apprenticeship qualification.

Nellsar’s Head of Catering Services, Adrian Silaghi, was keen to congratulate the trio, commenting:
“I have no words to express my happiness, excitement and joy at these recent exam achievements. I am proud of all three of you for successfully passing your qualifications; you’ve taken on the tasks and challenges with real commitment and achieved your goals. It’s so rewarding to receive such fantastic news! This was an excellent example of teamwork, with support from the Head Chef, Senior Management and our amazing Assessors. Not forgetting the colleagues who have been supporting Catalin to achieve something he may not have thought possible. Thank you all for making this happen! You’ve made my day, my week, my month!”


Marisa Spice, Nellsar’s Learning and Development Manager, was delighted to see such fantastic achievements
“Nellsar is so delighted to be able to offer apprenticeships as one of the many ways we can develop our teams. The effort and commitment to achieve these qualifications should never be underestimated. Working full-time, studying and learning about the extended nature of the work they do everyday and balancing that with a personal life, too, can be very challenging. It makes successes like these even more rewarding. The camaraderie shown by Cosmin, Cristian and Catalin, their determination to succeed and resilience in overcoming challenges they doubted they would conquer are just the best outcomes we could have wanted. They have been supported all the way by Adrian, their management team and HITTraining (Training Provider), all of whom get to enjoy the celebrations of our Chefs’ achievements. Successes?….There are plenty more to come where these guys are concerned!”

Cosmin – Head Chef

Princess Christian’s Head Chef Cosmin was delighted to pass his Level 3 Senior Production Chef qualification in December 2023, achieving a distinction. This is testament to his commitment to self-improvement and his drive to ensure continuing professional development – all to provide the best service for his residents, plus support for his colleagues. We were thrilled to see him achieve this higher level qualification after dedicating so much of his time and energy to his study program.

Cosmin’s academic, home-grown and industry-recognised achievements make for impressive reading:

  • Winner of the ‘Unsung Hero’ category at the Surrey Care Awards 2023
  • ‘Chef of the Year’ finalist at the National Care Awards 2023
  • Key contributor to Nellsar’s Care and Cookery Book 2023
  • Chef category finalist at The Great British Care Awards 2022
  • ‘Cooking with Cosmin’ Cooking Club creator in 2021
  • Intermediate Apprenticeship in Food Production and Cooking (Level 2)
  • Supervising Food Safety in Catering (Level 3)
  •  Leaders and Managers Training

Cosmin came to the UK from Romania and began working at Princess Christian in 2015. He was quickly motivated to develop himself both personally and professionally and worked under the expert tuition of Head of Catering Services Adrian Silaghi and Head Chef Roy, learning key skills from them in relation to cooking and managing a team. He admits he was shy and uncertain when he first started, with limited English, but Home Manager Mario and Quality and Compliance Manager Beth recognised the potential in him and encouraged him to enrol onto English classes and development training courses. It wasn’t long before he became a Chef at Princess Christian, followed by a promotion to Head Chef.

Cosmin commented:
“My journey at Princess Christian has totally changed my life – I like to say I jumped on the right train at the right time! My ambition to do better has driven me, every year, to achieve new things and set new goals. Looking back on my achievements over the last eight years, I don’t doubt for a second that I made the right decision and chose the right family here at Princess Christian. I’ve had incredible support from Nellsar’s Director of Operations Glenda Osmotherly, Head of Catering Services Adrian Silaghi, Head of Nutrition and Wellness Leni Wood and our Marketing Team Jodie Currey and Kirstie Newell – who have all encouraged me and supported my development year on year. I feel loved and respected here, and I try to spread the same feeling to my team at Princess Christian. I’m so lucky to work with such good people; we may have different cultures but we share the same passion for culinary art and doing good for others. From our Kitchen Assistants and Chef Assistants to our Chefs, everyone is trying their best to deliver an outstanding service for our residents. Having Nutrition Champion Eduard and Senior Kitchen Assistant Graham on my team is a great asset, plus new members we have in the kitchen; I want to thank them all for their hard work and support. And I couldn’t be prouder seeing Chef Cristian and Chef Catalin following the same steps I did and the ambition they have, both passing their exams. Obtaining a five-star rating in Food Hygiene every year and Outstanding CQC feedback at our last inspection – that can only be achieved with great teamwork.”

Many congratulations Cosmin on your exam distinction!

Cosmin haș a natural flair for food and engaging with his residents through his Cooking Club

Cristian – First Chef/Head of Restaurants and Dining Assistants

Cristian was incredibly proud to pass his Level 3 Senior Production Chef qualification in December 2023. The commitment he showed to working and studying was commendable and his commitment to growth and learning is plain to see. We couldn’t be more pleased to see him awarded this achievement – his hard work really stands out.

Cristian has undertaken a number of other key training courses and qualifications during his time at Princess Christian:

  • Production Chef (Level 2)
  • Nutrition and Health (Level 2)
  • Food Hygiene and Safety in Catering (Level 2)
  • Leaders and Managers Training

Cristian began working at Princess Christian in 2016 as a Kitchen Assistant, quickly being promoted to Chef Assistant, followed by a Chef position. His current role is First Chef, with duties which include managing our dedicated Dining Assistants, as Head of Restaurants.

Cristian’s drive for learning and self-development has always been outstanding and his discipline and drive are truly admirable. He is doing an excellent job in his role and making great personal career progress. He’s an outstanding team player and a great support to Head Chef Cosmin.

A fantastic achievement Cristian – well done!

Cristian’s stunning food presentation

Catalin – Chef

Catalin passed his Level 2 Production Chef apprenticeship qualification in January. This is a fantastic milestone and we are incredibly proud of his achievement. He is delighted to have passed and proud to have developed himself from a Cook to an official Chef at Princess Christian! He found the process of learning challenging at times, but received support and encouragement from his Kitchen colleagues and Princess Christian management team, which he found invaluable.

Catalin has also completed a number of key qualifications as part of his ongoing development, including:

  • Food Hygiene and Safety in Catering (Level 2)
  • Food Chef Standard Food Production (Level 2)
  • Nutrition and Hydration Training

Catalin joined Princess Christian in 2016 as a Kitchen Assistant and over time progressed to a Chef Assistant role. Now promoted to Chef, he is planning to focus in particular on food presentation, taste and colours. He is very passionate about cooking and takes great pride in the food he serves; this can be seen on every plate and he receives wonderful feedback from residents and team members alike.

Huge congratulations on your exam success Catalin!

Catalin’s food bursts with colours and flavours