Chef Anthony Proffitt, 39, at Kimberley Court care home in Newquay, is celebrating this week after winning a place in a national final of a catering competition.

Anthony is one of the seven chefs who will now go through to the Grand Final of Anchor’s Chef of the Year competition on 5 September after his menu proved to be top class.

As part of the competition, Anthony organised taster sessions with residents from Kimberley Court to see which two-course menu would best represent the home. His competition entry also included a meal for residents with dysphagia who have eating difficulties. 

Anthony will now take part in a two-hour cook-off at the competition kitchens at University College Birmingham against the six other finalists in front of the judges and well-wishers in the gallery.

He will then submit his dishes to the critical eyes and taste buds of a panel of Anchor judges: National Care Quality Manager Rob Martin, Catering Manager Richard Herne, who specialises in catering for those with dysphagia, and Head of Care Maria Bamford.  

The finalists will be judged on the presentation, flavour and the originality of their two menus, which all had to be prepared from fresh, seasonal ingredients. All the dishes were examples of food the chefs serve to residents in their care homes.

Anthony, who has twice reached the finals of the National Association of Care Catering awards, prepared the following for the competition: pan-fried hake with crushed new potatoes, garden vegetables and Champagne and butter sauce followed by raspberry and chocolate claufoui.

Anthony, who has worked for Anchor for five years following a career as head chef at a Newquay hotel, said he was delighted to have reached the finals, especially as he was competing against equally experienced chefs.

He said: “This challenge is good fun and it benefits the residents living in Anchor’s care homes ultimately as it further pushes us to produce better and more creative meals for them when we decide on the week’s menu.

“The residents wanted me to cook a typical Cornish fish so hake was a popular choice, and we chose the vegetables which the residents had grown in the garden and herb garden here. The dessert is one of the most popular on our menus.”

Competition organiser Andy Seal, from Anchor’s service delivery team, said: “We pride ourselves on the high standards of our catering service and Anthony has shown that we have every right to be proud. 

“The chefs’ dishes were all delicious and well presented, making the judges’ task very difficult. All the chefs’ work shows just how good care home catering can be when there are passionate, skilled people in the kitchen.

“And it’s a great career – many chefs come to us because of the social hours they work and the big difference they make to older people’s lives.

“Anthony is now facing the top chefs in Anchor so the competition will be tough.”

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