Anchor’s Chef of the Year short list announced
The short list for Anchor’s Chef of the Year has been announced and eight of our top care home chefs will be showing off their culinary skills at a special ‘cook-off’ event in Birmingham’s University College on 4th September.
They include defending champion Rusty Hesketh who won last year representing Heywood House in Merseyside. Since then he has moved to the slightly bigger care home in nearby Upton Grange.
Three other chefs who made the shortlist in 2017 are also in the running again: Rob Devonshire from Clayburn Court, Sean Wilde from Borrage House and Jacqui McGinty from Sandstones are all hoping to go one better this time around.
Tom Shepherd, a Michelin starred chef who heads up the kitchen at Adam’s in Birmingham, has been lined up as the main judge on the day.
Tom said he was looking forward to the experience: "This will be the first cooking competition I have ever judged professionally, let alone for chefs specialising in care home catering. I often entertain older people in Adam’s – we had a 100th birthday party very recently, so I have a good idea of what they appreciate.
"If I can impart one piece of experience, it is to keep it simple. The older people I know and cater for don’t like food that is too fussy – personally I believe you can’t beat a lovely plate of bangers and mash.
"I saw the results from last year both on video and photographically, and I was mightily impressed, so I think this year’s candidates have a tough act to follow."
Andy Seal, Service Delivery Consultant for Anchor, the organiser of the competition, said the standard of entry was outstanding: "I really must pay tribute to all our chefs who have taken the time to enter this year’s competition. The standard of applicants was much higher this year, and we received almost double the applications. There can only be eight finalists, and the judging panel has completed the tough job of selecting the eight best entries."
The competition final will be held on Tuesday 4 September in University College, Birmingham.