Jennie-May sealed victory in a hotly contested final of the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) Care Cook of the Year 2014 competition, held yesterday (June 11) at the Barking and Dagenham skills Academy
Jennie-May saw off very tough competition with her two-course menu of smoked mackerel frittata with roasted root chips and probiotic beets, followed by lemon posset with hemp thins and berries.
The triumphant Jennie-May, who worked as an amateur jockey for five years, where diet and nutrition and health was at the forefront of her then career, said she was shocked and overwhelmed by her success and welcomed the increased profile the competition gave the care catering sector.
“My menu was inspired by my residents,” she added. “They love egg and chips so I took that idea and tried pack as much nutrition into it as I could.”
Now in its 15th year, the NACC Care Cook of the Year competition is one of the longest standing independent recipe competitions in the UK, searching out the very best of the nation’s Cooks and at the same time raising the profile and talents of chefs and cooks in the sector
All entrants were required to create a nutritionally-balanced, innovative and delicious two-course menu, main and dessert, that is suitable for customers in a care environment. Other criteria included a set budget of £1.50 per person, and the meal must be produced in 90 minutes.
Neel Radia, national chair of the NACC, offered his congratulations to Smith Lawrence, adding: “The competition really is fantastic. It raises the profile of care catering as a rewarding and viable career choice, but more importantly it gives chefs working in the care sector a rare opportunity to shine and showcase the outstanding talents they possess.
“All 12 finalists truly shone and left the judges and audience with no doubt that care catering requires real skill, knowledge, culinary expertise and passion.”
This year saw the number of finalists doubled to 12 for the first time.