Six chefs from Barchester Healthcare's care homes around the country have battled it out to be crowned Chef of the Year by celebrity chef Paul Rankin at the national Chef Competition.
The six finalists were selected from more than 70 entries and were invited to join in a cook off at the Westminster College in London for the final stage of the competition. The finalists created four dishes for a Best of British menu, in line with this year’s theme for the competition, and the event was judged by Paul Rankin and Barchester's Director of Learning, Development and Hospitality Terry Tucker.
Celebrity chef Paul Rankin said: "Every year I judge this competition and every year I am more impressed with the quality of the dishes created in the final cook off. Everyone has made such an effort here today and have demonstrated that nutritious food can also be delicious! High quality food for older people is a topic that is close to my heart and I am pleased that Barchester shares this commitment and encourages its chefs to maintain a high standard in cooking."
The annual Chef Competition, hosted by national care provider Barchester Healthcare, is part of the Cooking with Care initiative and celebrates the wealth of cooking talent across its 220 care homes, highlighting Barchester's five-star dining experience. Cooking with Care is about ensuring that the food at Barchester care homes isn't just nutritious, but tantalising and delicious, and encompasses a number of training courses, including a basic chef's diploma for apprentice chefs and a master chef's diploma to enhance specific skills of chefs working at a higher level.
First place went to Joseph Love from Epsom Beaumont care home in Epsom. Second prize and a special award for good health & safety practice went to Mike Watts from Laurel Bank care home in Lancaster. Becky Chapman from the Warren care home in Norwich was awarded third prize. Winners were presented with trophies by Paul Rankin and Tim Hammond, Managing Director of Barchester Healthcare.