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 organization regardless of level, where they are asked to create and present a 2-course menu, and snack which must include a version suitable for an IDDSI soft & bite-sized diet.
Watch the 2022 Final here to learn more about the competition and hear from our Finalists and this years Winner:
Sam Mellish is 'Chef of the Year' 2022!
This years Chef of the Year competition has now concluded and the winner was Sam Mellish! Sam is the Deputy Chef Manager at Moore Place care home in Esher.
The 4 finalists for 2022 were:
- Donna Stevenson from The Manor House, Harrogate – Donna’s use of ingredients grown in their own garden and the way she captured resident feedback really brought her portfolio to life
- Josh Heaton from Gills Top, Grassington – Following resident consultation Josh ran a fun Yorkshire event based on the dishes his residents had requested. The regional detail in his portfolio really shone through. Josh also received an impressive amount of votes from colleagues across the organization for his menu
- Sam Mellish from Moore Place, Esher – Sam brought to life a great summer themed menu. Following lots of work with residents on his menu, Marge, one of the residents joined him to prepare and cook their chosen menu for the semi-final round
- Sandra Barkas from The Manor House, Barnard Castle – Sandra’s focus on the nutritional value of each of the dishes in her menu was complimented by her focus on sustainability of ingredients. To determine the afternoon snack she developed a full afternoon tea complete with sandwiches, cakes and scones for residents to choose their favourite to go forward as part of the menu
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 16 successful applicants that make it through are then judged by colleagues across the organisation, and the number of votes they receive is added to the scores they were awarded in the previous round for nutritional value and how they involved residents in their menu choice.
Colleagues vote on the following 2 points:
- menu choice
- presentation and visual appeal
Over a 2-day period, 4 finalists get to know each other and compete in a final live cook off. This year the competition was held in Leeds, where the finalists’ and guests were invited to attend and watch on in support.
Colleagues and residents were also in attendance and the judging panel was made up of CEO Jane Ashcroft, Managing Director of Care Services Rob Martin, Catering Manager Noel Finnegan, and a resident from one of our local care homes.
The judging criteria is based on all previous criteria, as well as best tasting menu.