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NACC Care Chef of the Year 2021 finalists revealed

Published: 16th August 2021

The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has revealed the line-up of talented care chefs that will compete in the national final of the NACC Care Chef of the Year 2021 culinary competition.

Throughout July, regional heats have been taking place across the NACC regions – Scotland, North, Midlands, Wales, South West and South East – with talented care chefs showcasing their skills and specialist knowledge in a bid to secure their spot in the final of the prestigious event.

The expert judges selected their final 12 care chefs for their clear nutritional understanding of the foods they are using and how they benefit the needs of their clientele, plus their culinary flair through flavours, menu balance, execution, presentation, and hygiene best practice.

The finalists are now preparing to impress the judges one more time to claim the coveted title of NACC Care Chef of the Year 2021.

The national final takes place on Wednesday 6 October 2021 at Manor Farm Cookery School, Grantham.

The NACC Care Chef of the Year 2021 finalists are:
  • David Whistler, The Cambridgeshire Care Home, Cambridge
  • Matt Knott, Fernhill House Majesticare, Worcester
  • Paul Murray, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York
  • Aaron Watson, Primrose Bank Care Home, Poulton-le-Fylde
  • Iain Young, Murrayside Care Home, Care UK, Edinburgh
  • John Grover, Barchester Care, NHS Grampian, Aberdeen
  • David Sharp, Bentley House, Signature Care Homes, Hertford
  • Emilio Pascucci, Astbury Manor Care Home, Avery Healthcare, Bracknell
  • Patrick Fensterseifer, St Ives House, Ringwood
  • Daniel Kavanagh, Green Tree Court, Lexicon Healthcare, Exeter
  • Nikki Burridge, Penpergwm House, Abergavenny
  • Paul Barry, Sunrise Senior Living Cardiff
Sue Cawthray, National Chair of the NACC, said: “Congratulations to the finalists of the NACC Care Chef of the Year competition 2021! The regional heats were incredibly exciting and the fact that we were once again able to welcome our competitors and judges into the competition kitchens in person was just wonderful.

“Good food is at the heart of quality care. The physical and mental wellbeing of older, vulnerable and young people in a care setting are intrinsically linked to mealtimes – from the nutritional benefits of a varied, balanced, person-centred diet to the social and emotional benefits that interacting over food can bring. With that in mind, the role of the care chef is vital, and we’re committed to putting a continued spotlight on the immensely talented, knowledgeable and dedicated chefs that work in the care sector.
“The national final is going to be a real celebration of our sector and the exceptional standard of food that care chefs create for their residents and clientele every single day. I cannot wait to watch the action unfold at the live final – it’s going to be a thrilling and uplifting occasion. I wish all the finalists the very best of luck!”

The NACC Care Chef of the Year competition is supported by the main sponsor Unilever Food Solutions and long-standing event sponsor The Worshipful Company of Cooks.

Focusing on the importance of food, nutrition and positive mealtime experiences as part of quality care, entrants are challenged to create an appealing and delicious two-course menu (main and dessert) appropriate for people in a care setting. The combined food cost for both courses should be no more than £2.25 per head based on three portions and it must be nutritionally balanced. The menu must also feature a product from Unilever Food Solutions’ sector-relevant portfolio.

For more information on the NACC Care Chef of the Year 2021 competition visit

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