Stowmarket chef cooks up a storm in national care home competition

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Residents and colleagues at Stowmarket’s newest care home, Cedrus House, are celebrating after the home’s chef, Martin Smith, reached the semi-finals of Care UK’s Chef of the Year competition.

Martin Smith, has been the head chef at Cedrus House, off Creeting Road East in the Cedars Park area of Stowmarket, since the care home opened in April 2015. Martin competed against the culinary talents of other Care UK chefs from across the country and was one of 12 to reach the semi-finals, four of which were from Care UK’s other homes in Suffolk. The semi-finals will take place in early September and only four chefs will progress onto the finals.

Commenting on his success in the competition, Martin said: “I am delighted to have made it to the semi-finals against tough competition from chefs across the country. I’m pleased to have this opportunity to showcase my knowledge and cookery skills, as well as pick up inspiration and creativity for new menus at the home.”

Cedrus House home manager Michelle Webster said: “Martin knows the residents well here, their likes and dislikes as well as their dietary needs, and he often goes the extra mile to make sure everyone is happy and enjoying their meals. Last month he served a wonderful spread of canapés to our guests at our official opening ceremony. Martin is a fantastic chef and we wish him every success in the competition.”

To secure his place in the semi-finals, Martin had to prepare a two-course lunch in 90 minutes with judges looking at the originality, presentation, taste, nutritional content and menu design.

Martin prepared pan-fried salmon fillets wrapped in fresh basil and prosciutto ham, served with a sweetcorn purée, macaire potatoes and a plum tomato and a green bean lattice. For dessert Martin prepared a spiced plum wine poached comice pear served with a garnish of roasted rhubarb and ginger and a butter shortbread crumb.

The meal was tasted by four judges including a regional director, a hotel services manager and two of Care UK care home residents.

Open to new residents

Bittern Crescent, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 5XG

Cedrus House

Cedrus House

CQC Rating: Good
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day club

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