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Care Food Ambassador Internship Programme


  • Students at the Vocational Training Council International Culinary Institute and Chinese Culinary Institute

  • The HKCSS Care Food Working Group offers introductory seminars and advanced workshops on Care Food for aspiring chefs. This initiative aims to broaden career paths and enhance awareness of Care Food among culinary students.

  • Recognising the team commended in the Care Food Cooking Competition 2022, the HKCSS Care Food Working Group arranges culinary students as Care Food Ambassadors to provide service at award-winning units.

  • During a designated period, Care Food Ambassadors offer assistance to alleviate staffing pressures in these units. This approach addresses the challenges of a workforce shortage in the sector and embodies the concept of passing on the torch.

  • The service revolves around supporting the operational aspects of institutional dietary services, such as assisting in meal arrangements (subject to actual situations). Internship stipends are subsidised by the programme.

  • The programme is scheduled to take place from January to March 2023.

Programme Highlights

Internship Journey Revisited

Thoughts from the Care Food Ambassadors

Tam Hoi Ching

Internship Unit:

Caritas District Elderly Centre - Yuen Long 

During my three-month, 64-hour internship at an elderly care service institution under Caritas in Yuen Long, I primarily interned at the Caritas District Elderly Centre - Yuen Long and participated in special activities organised by Caritas. The institution provides meals for the elderly, and during my time there, I focused on learning about various techniques for preparing Care Food, including soft meals. I also gained insights into cooking skills and the dietary operations of elderly care institutions.  


During the internship, I took part in Caritas' Chinese New Year celebration for the elderly. On the day of the event, we prepared poon choi, a traditional festive dish. To ensure that elderly individuals with dysphagia could also enjoy poon choi, the head chef at Caritas taught me how to create exquisite soft meal versions of the dish, which included abalone, roasted meat, and chicken. I learned how to select ingredients suitable for the elderly, heat and use thickening agents, and use moulding techniques. This experience enhanced my skills in creating soft meals and deepened my understanding of the dietary needs of the elderly and the importance of promoting Care Food.  


The Caritas District Elderly Centre - Yuen Long mainly provides lunch and dinner for elderly individuals who are in need. The chefs at the centre must consider the swallowing and nutritional needs of the elderly. I assisted in the daily operations of the kitchen, including preparation works and ingredient cutting. For elderly individuals with specific requirements, the chefs guided me in creating meals that meet the special standards of Care Food, tailored to their needs. 


Chef Yau also led me to participate in the Home Delicacies Task Force activity, where we made soft meals with tricolour Dango and delivered them to the elderly for the Easter celebration. Through the internship and these activities, I learned more about the considerations involved in creating Care Food. For instance, I learned to be cautious about foods that gout patients should avoid when preparing soft meals and to separate these diets from general ones. Delivering meals personally to the elderly provided me with the opportunity to interact with them, allowing them to try soft meals and promoting the concept of care food.  


In summary, my internship at Caritas was an invaluable learning experience. The soft meal cooking skills I acquired and the exposure to elderly care institutions have laid a solid foundation for my future career in this field. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such a professional team and look forward to applying the skills and knowledge I have gained to my future endeavours.

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Daisy Yan

Internship Unit:

Po Leung Kuk Delish ONE Kitchen

Hello, everyone! I'm very grateful for the opportunity to participate in this caregiving and culinary internship. It has truly broadened my horizons.   


I've discovered that many people in Hong Kong suffer from dysphagia, yet this issue isn't widely known. During my time in the kitchen, I believe I've engaged in a successful, meaningful, and socially enlightened internship that will greatly aid my future learning. I will cherish everything I have now, as these insights were hard-earned!


Reflecting on my internship at Po Leung Kuk Delish ONE Kitchen, my predominant feelings are novelty and fatigue. Even though I was mentally prepared for the internship and balanced it with my studies, I must admit it was a bit tiring. The culinary profession demands early mornings, but I managed to overcome them. The colleagues and chefs at the organisation were very kind to me. I vividly recall something Chef Kang said: "If you don't know, you should ask. Don't be shy. Taking a small step bravely brings success closer." Indeed, there were times when my shyness caused me to miss opportunities. Now, when I encounter something that I don't understand, I write it down and ask later. Truly, opportunities favour the prepared. What struck me as novel was that Delish ONE Kitchen doesn't resemble a typical kitchen. Why do I say this? The answer is its remarkable cleanliness. After each dish is prepared, the chef immediately cleans up. The chef told me that if you clean a little each day, it accumulates and benefits you. A clean kitchen enhances one's mood.  


I've come to realise that making Care Food isn't as easy as I had imagined. For instance, pouring soft food into moulds requires speed, as you're racing against time. Additionally, making food depends on factors such as time, temperature, and humidity. Once, the chef and I attempted to make soft meal sushi, and the process was truly intricate, requiring patience. Creating a new soft meal recipe entails continuous experimentation, repetition, and refinement before achieving the final product. I witnessed this spirit in the chef. I'm very thankful for this internship opportunity, and I intend to pass on the values I've learned. In the future, I aim to pursue a career as a chef, and I will persevere. 

Chung Cheong Won

Internship Unit:

Caritas Ying Shui Home

After completing the HKCSS Care Food Ambassador Workshop, the Care Food Working Group arranged for me to intern at Caritas Ying Shui Home. The internship lasted for about two months, allowing me to continue learning various techniques for preparing Care Food as a Care Food Ambassador.  


On the first day at Ying Shui Home, Ms. Kwok explained the safety precautions, and Chef Wai led me on a tour of the kitchen. He emphasised that the first step upon entering the kitchen is to review the week's menu and the dishes for the upcoming evening and the next day's lunch. This helps understand how the ingredients need to be cut and prepared. The second step involves checking the inventory list to ensure the quantity and the price of items are reasonable.  


On the following day in the kitchen, my first task was to examine the menu. I learned that I needed to prepare romaine lettuce for tomorrow's lunch and choy sum for dinner. Chef Wai advised me that due to the small kitchen space, it's important to be flexible. He taught me to cut the vegetables required for the next day first and then proceed with the ones needed for the current evening, ensuring there's space on the counter for afternoon tea preparations.  


Next, the chef showed me the process of preparing tomorrow's ingredients. He instructed me to use three separate plastic bags for the ingredients of soft and bite-sized meals, regular meals, and pureed meals. The first step in cutting vegetables is to prepare the core and place it in the first bag. The second step involves cutting ingredients for soft and bite-sized meals into pieces roughly 1.5 x 1.5 cm and placing them in the second bag. Since there aren't many residents at Ying Shui Home who require soft and bite-sized meals, the amount needed to be cut comes to about 80% of a circular sieve's size. The third step is to cut the vegetables into lengths that fit within the space of one's index finger and place them in the third bag.  


I also learned that distributing breakfast in the morning requires skills. Chefs need to distribute meals in the morning, noon, and evening. Chef Wai explained that meals are distributed according to the icons displayed where the residents reside. For example, the icon of a roasted chicken indicates regular meals; a pair of scissors represents soft and bite-sized meals; a blender means minced meals; and a bowl signifies pureed meals.  


Afterward, the chef had me assist in cooking and making Care Food. Typically, the preparation process starts with lighter colours and progresses to darker ones. The consistency should be thin but not thick, as it tightens a bit after cooling. The chef noted that vegetables release moisture, so there's no need to add water. Additionally, when preparing Care Food, adding rice can serve as a binding agent.  


In summary, following the arrangement by the HKCSS Care Food Working Group to intern at the facility, I made significant progress in mastering the techniques for creating Care Food. I gained an understanding of the precise proportions required for delicate Care Food and a deeper insight into the concept of Care Food, recognising its relevance for various individuals with specific needs. The demand for such food isn't limited to institutions; families with pregnant women, children, or dental issues also require these preparations. 

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Unit representatives’ remarks

Mr. Yau Ka Leung

Dietary Supervisor of Caritas Services

for the Elderly

We thank Hoi Ching for the assistance during Chinese New Year, as we prepared poon choi soft meals. Also, for Easter, we brought warm holiday gifts to the elderly in the community. It was a successful and joyful holiday activity, bringing soft meals to the elderly in the community. 

We appreciate Cheong Won's continuous efforts from February to April to create exquisite meals and special dishes for the elderly in need of special soft meals in the care facilities, leaving them with wonderful memories. 

We are grateful to Cheong Won and Hoi Ching for providing such delicious soft meals to our care facilities and the elderly in the community during this period. They have felt your care and dedication. 

I truly admire the work attitude and care for the elderly shown by these two culinary student interns during their time here! 

Chefs from Po Leung Kuk Delish ONE Kitchen 

Dear Daisy, after graduation, work will be full of challenges. Success is not the end, but a process. Rise to the challenges, keep learning, and enhance your skills and abilities. Be prepared for every opportunity! 

Ng Wing Kei

Head Chef, Caritas Integrated Home Care Service - Yuen Long

Hoi Ching demonstrated an active and proactive learning spirit during the internship, fearlessly tackling challenges, asking questions with courage, and delivering an overall excellent performance. It is anticipated that she will contribute her acquired knowledge and skills from the facilities back to society. Furthermore, she also assisted in creating festive soft meals and delivering them to the elderly, adding a festive atmosphere to their homes. 

Fok Wai Fun

Chef, Caritas Integrated Home Care Service

- Yuen Long

I am deeply grateful for Hoi Ching's assistance during her time here. Her sincerity and help have brought warmth to me. Throughout the internship, she assisted in handling ingredients, alleviating workload pressure, and bringing vitality and encouragement to everyone. I highly appreciate her attitude towards asking questions and communicating with others. I wish her continuous growth in the future! 

Law Siu Wai

Chef, Caritas Ying Shui Home

During his internship, Cheong Won worked diligently and got along well with his colleagues. He readily accepted feedback and demonstrated progress in his work. Moreover, he also prepared soft meals for the elderly in the care facilities. 

Supporting Institutes

  • Vocational Training Council International Culinary Institute and Chinese Culinary Institute

(institute names are listed in alphabetical order)

Supporting Institutes

  • Caritas District Elderly Centre - Yuen Long

  • Caritas Ying Shui Home

  • Po Leung Kuk Delish ONE Kitchen

Ms. Kwok

Supervisor, Caritas Ying Shui Home

Throughout his internship, Cheong Won was diligent and not afraid of hard work. From the initial one-on-one guidance by one of our chefs during the first few days to the last two days with minimal supervision, Cheong Won was able to independently complete a task. The chefs also noticed his dedicated approach to every task. 

Cheong Won's custom creation of two exquisite soft meals for the elderly is much appreciated. The elderly couldn't wait to taste the dishes, which increased their appetite and joy. 

Lastly, being a member of the kitchen staff of a care facility is indeed challenging. Despite the tight workflow and the pressure of receiving direct feedback on meals from the service users, Cheong Won managed to complete the tasks assigned by the care facility. We hope that Cheong Won will continue to approach his work with a dedicated attitude in his future endeavours. 



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