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Surbiton care home chef wins prestigious award

Published: 19th October 2021

Chef Rida Diab has won a prestigious catering prize in recognition of his work at Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton.

The 37-year-old won Catering Manager of the Year at the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) awards on Thursday 7 October. He was also a finalist in the Foodservice Catey Awards the following evening.

Rida works for Signature Dining, a dedicated provider of deliciously nutritious contract catering in the senior living and care sectors in the UK, and he is based at Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton. The Home provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia.

Following his success, Rida, from Greenford, west London, said: “This award belongs to all the catering staff at Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton. I love working here and getting to know the amazing residents. It’s a privilege to cook for them.”

Recently, the chef rolled back the years for one resident when he made a gooseberry pie using her mother’s recipe. After serving a fruit pie, Army wife Wyn told Rida the pastry was not as good as hers, and gave him the recipe that her mother always used. The chef went away and came back with a gooseberry pie, which Wyn said was “delicious”. She added: “My mum died in 1966 and it reminded me of her.”

Surbiton Home Manager, Helena Maher, said: “Rida loves spending time with residents, and taking individual requests. Nothing is too much bother for him, he does everything he can to make sure the residents are happy at mealtimes. I’m delighted his efforts have been recognised with this award.”

Signature Dining also provides the food at Royal Star & Garter’s two other Homes in Solihull and High Wycombe, and won Healthcare Caterer of the Year at the Foodservice Catey Awards.

Praising Rida for his success, Signature Dining founder and owner Paul Robottom said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Rida has won this prestigious award for Signature Dining and Royal Star & Garter, Surbiton. The whole team have been amazing over the past 19 months through the pandemic, battling to work every day to ensure the residents are well looked after. This award recognises Rida’s total commitment to the residents and is very well deserved.”

The Surbiton Home is welcoming new residents. For more information about the charity, please go to

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