Care home group launches Chef of the Year initiative

A new initiative is being launched this summer by Orchard Care Homes, a leading provider of elderly and specialist healthcare. The competition will see the top chef from the Group’s 80+ homes crowned Chef of the Year in a Masterchef-style grand finale in October.

The competition is open to all cooks and chefs within the care home group, who are being asked to prepare and present a two-course meal, together with supporting information and photographs, from within the home’s resident daily food budget. Entries will be judged on presentation, taste, texture, imagination and culinary skills demonstrated. 
The aim of the initiative is to showcase some of the impressive culinary talent and creativity that exists in care homes. Comments Andy Savage, Food & Beverage Manager, “I have seen some impressive creative and technical skills coming out of the kitchens of our homes, and this is an opportunity for our kitchen staff to demonstrate this, and receive a prestigious accolade for their efforts.

“The standard of the mealtime experience in many of our homes is exceptionally high, and this is another initiative we have launched that aims to regulate this level across all of our homes. I’m really excited about the process and seeing what our chefs can produce.”

Neel Radia, national chair of the National Association of Care Catering, said:  "Good food and nutrition is fundamental to safe, quality care. The vulnerable and elderly have varied and specific dietary needs so cooks and chefs in the sector require the skills to cater for these. The NACC is committed to championing excellence in care catering and raising awareness of the fantastic job chefs in the sector do on a daily basis. 

“It is therefore an honour to be part of Orchard Care Homes' Chef of the Year initiative that recognises culinary talent within the organisation. I very much look forward to seeing and tasting what the chefs create in the final."

The first stage of the competition will identify the top eight chefs across the group, who will then be invited to a Masterchef-style final in October at the Head Quarters of corporate supporters, Unilever Food Solutions. In front of a judging panel that includes the Chair of the National Association of Care Catering, NACC, the final eight chefs will create their dishes within a timed environment. The winner will be crowned Orchard Care Homes’ ‘Chef of the Year 2016’.

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