Chef of the Year competition
Showcasing culinary excellence
Annually we hold our ‘Chef of the Year’ competition where our Chefs take on the opportunity to showcase their impressive skills, knowledge, and the high-quality meals that they serve daily to our residents.
The competition enables our chefs to shout about all of the pioneering ways they are able to serve our residents highly nutritional, great tasting, and exceptionally presented meals.
All of the meals that the competing chefs present are created from the same local, high quality, fresh ingredients that they use when preparing meals for our residents.
Applications are open to all chefs across the organisation regardless of level, where they are asked to create and present a 3-course menu including a starter, main and dessert. One of the courses is to be prepared to IDDSI level 4 standard to demonstrate their skills in this area.
IDDSI stands for International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative, and is a framework used to determine the texture of modified food and drink for people living with dysphagia (swallowing difficulties). For Chef of the Year, our finalists have to pick one dish from their three course menu to produce at an IDDSI Level 4 texture (pureed).
Watch the highlights from the Chef of the Year 2023 competition
Paul Thomas is 'Chef of the Year' 2023!
This year's Chef of the Year competition has now concluded and the winner was Paul Thomas! Paul is Chef Manager at Buckingham Lodge in Aylesbury.
The 4 finalists for 2023 were:
- Charlotte Holmes from The Manor House Barnard Castle
- James Conroy from Eric Morecambe House
- Lewis Cutler from West Hall
- Paul Thomas from Buckingham Lodge
The competition consists of 3 rounds where only 1 successful chef can claim the respected title ‘Chef of the Year’.
Menus are judged by our service improvement team on:
- presentation and visual appeal
- resident involvement in menu selection
- nutritional value of meal for our residents
- skill and ability demonstrated
The semi-finalists will be judged on:
- The colleague vote
- Nutritional value of the menu
- Their application form
The four chefs with the highest scores went through to our live cook-off at Leeds Catering College on the 6 July.
On 6 July the 4 finalists competed in a live cook-off at Leeds Catering College.
The final dishes were judged by two panels. For the three course meal there was Rob Martin - Managing Director of Care Services at Anchor, Cath Holmes - Director of Care Quality at Anchor, and Steve McFall - Managing Director of Efoods.
For the IDDSI course there was Jamie Clews - Robot Coupe, Jenny Mulligan - Service Improvement Advisor and member of the IDDSI reference group, and Denise Peart - Anchor Non Executive Director
The judging criteria is based on all previous criteria, as well as best tasting menu. This year's theme was sustainability so chefs also had to explain the ingredients they used for their dishes and how they were sourced.