The talented line-up of finalists for the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) Care Cook of the Year 2015 competition has been announced.
The triumphant finalists pulled out all the stops in the regional heats to impress the judges in order to secure a place in the National Final and move one step closer to being crowned NACC Care Cook of the Year 2015.
The challenge was to produce the delicious and nutritionally-balanced two-course menu, main and dessert, created specifically for the competition in just 90 minutes. The menu had to be suitable for service users in a care setting and have the combined food cost for both courses of no more than £1.50 per head based on four portions. The competitors also had to demonstrate innovation, costing, suitability for the environment, adherence to nutrition guidelines, taste and overall menu balance.
On Wednesday 10 June 2015 the finalists will compete in a live and thrilling cook-off for the coveted title at Barking & Dagenham College’s Technical Skills Academy.
Neel Radia, National Chair, NACC, comments: “Catering within the care sector requires specific skills and knowledge to ensure that the dietary and nutritional needs of the elderly and vulnerable are met. Important factors such as nutrition, budget restrictions, specific dietary requirements and needs, such as dementia, dysphagia and fortification, menu planning and regulations must be understood. They must also possess the culinary ability and flair to consistently create great-tasting and attractive food.
“The NACC Care Cook of the Year competition enables care cooks and chefs to showcase this knowledge and talent that the sector holds in abundance, whilst also raising the profile of this incredible and valuable sector of the industry. I congratulate all of this year’s finalists for their fantastic achievement so far in the competition. They are fine examples of best practice and excellence and I wish them all the very best for their preparations for the final. I very much look forward to what is sure to be a thrilling day.”
The 2015 NACC Care Cook of the Year National Finalists:
- Paul Burton, Parklands Care Home, Meallmore Ltd, Alloa, Clackmannanshire
- Margaret Stewart, Methilhaven Care Home, Fife Council
- Matt Gomersall, Donisthorpe Hall, Leeds
- Oliver Smith, Wetherby Manor, Wetherby
- Paul Burch, Dukes Court Care Home, Wellingborough
- Samantha Smallwood, Sunrise Senior Living of Edgbaston
- Gareth O’Hara, Sunrise Senior Living of Cardiff
South West Region:
- Gary Ford, St Monica Trust, Bristol
- William Marsh, Brandon Care Ltd, Exmouth
South East Region:
- Becky Allcorn, Hanover Housing Rotary Lodge, Worthing
- Matthew Dodge, Coombe Hill Manor, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey
The final will be held at Barking & Dagenham College’s Technical Skills Academy. Each year around 500 students, age 16-18, enrol at the Academy for technical and professional training with a clear line of sight to work. The next generation of professional chefs learn in spacious, well-equipped training kitchens, as well as learning on-the-job in the Academy’s commercial restaurant and café which are open to the public. As well as catering and hospitality, students can choose a variety of subjects including construction, childcare, digital and IT, media-makeup, hairdressing and beauty therapy.
The menu, knowledge and culinary prowess of the finalists will be assessed by a panel of expert judges including Bev Puxley, Past Master, Worshipful Company of Cooks; Lynden Davies, Chef/Assessor and Professional Catering Lecturer, Barking & Dagenham College; Caroline Lecko, Patient Safety Lead, NHS England; Janie Manzoori-Stamford, Contract Catering Editor, The Caterer; and Andrew Archer, Managing Director, Dewberry Redpoint.
As well as the esteemed title of NACC Care Cook of the Year 2015, the overall winner will claim a superb prize package and trophy.
For more information on the NACC Care Cook of the Year 2015 competition visit www.thenacc.co.uk.