Jennie Smith, a chef at Berkeley House in Hull, won best main course for her smoked mackerel frittata in the midlands regional heat and now goes forward to the national final.
Lal Mapalagma, a chef at Wetherby Manor in Wetherby, won best dessert in the northern regional heat for his poached pear with berry coulis, kiwi puree and ricotta.
Simon Lawrence, Hadrian Healthcare Group executive chef and current holder of the NACC Care Cook of the Year title said: “We’re delighted with the recognition Jennie and Lal have gained at the regional cook-offs. The competition is of a very high standard.
“And it’s fantastic news that Jennie is through to the national final, the whole company will be right behind her on the day.”
At the final competition in Barking on Wednesday 11 June Jennie will be cooking both her mouth-watering, nutritionally balanced and very well presented dishes – smoked mackerel frittata with vegetables followed by lemon posset with hemp thins and berries – competing against 11 other talented care cooks from across the country.
The competition is one of the longest-standing independent recipe competitions in the UK. It challenges competitors to devise new and exciting recipes appropriate for a care environment, highlighting the true culinary flair and particular skill sets required to ensure continued excellence and success within the important sector of care catering.
Neel Radia, national chair of NACC, commented: “Catering within the care sector requires very specific knowledge and skills. There are a number of factors that care caterers need to fully understand and consider when planning menus for the elderly and vulnerable entrusted to their care. These include, for example, nutrition, budget, specific dietary needs and individual demands, variety and creativity, presentation, and of course great taste. It is vital that care cooks get it right in order to ensure the wellbeing of service users.
“The NACC Care Cook of the Year Competition tests all of these essential skills and gives chefs and cooks in the sector the opportunity to showcase their talents, demonstrate best practice, and push themselves and their abilities as far as possible. The talent within our sector is outstanding and Jennie is a prime example of this. I congratulate her on her great success so far in the competition and wish her the very best of luck in the national final. It is sure to be an exhilarating cook off!”
As well as the prestigious title of NACC Care Cook of the Year 2014, the overall winner will claim a superb prize package and trophy. The competition is supported by the Worshipful Company of Cooks, Brakes, Premier Foods, Rational, Robot Coupe UK Ltd and Pritchitts.