Two Care UK chefs have each won a place in their respective regional cook-offs, as part of the prestigious Care Cook of the Year competition, organised by the National Association of Care Catering (NACC).
After carefully devising a menu, both Alan Cash, head chef at Mildenhall Lodge care home in Suffolk, and Peter McGregor, head chef at Perry Manor care home in Worcester, have been shortlisted to go head-to-head with other care home chefs at regional cook-offs to take place later this month. Both chefs will be battling for one of 12 places in the final live cook-off in June 2016.
The NACC Care Cook of the Year competition is one of the longest-standing, independent recipe competitions in the UK. Open to all chefs in the care sector, the competition raises the profile of care catering, promotes best practice and highlights the range of culinary skills needed to succeed.
At the regional cook-offs, Alan and Peter will be tasked with preparing a two-course menu, main and dessert, which demonstrates adherence to nutrition guidelines, great taste, costing ability and suitability to the care environment.
James Clear, Care UK’s hotel services manager for the south, explained why being a chef in a care environment is different to standard catering.
He said: “A care home chef needs a range of skills and a broad knowledge of nutrition to prepare meals to meet residents’ needs – skills such as gluten free baking, high nutrition dishes, fragrant cooking and soft foods. We invest in a variety of training for our chefs to help them provide the best dishes to suit every resident and we’re delighted when they’re recognised for their expertise in prestigious competitions such as this.”