Ferendune Court care home Chef reaches finals of Chef of the Year competition
A chef from a care home in Faringdon has beaten off rivals to secure a place in the finals of a national catering competition.
Deputy Chef Manager Beth Taylor, 19, who has worked at Ferendune Court care home in Ash Close for a year, said he was thrilled to be among the top chefs in Anchor’s Chef of the Year award.
Beth, who has been in the catering sector for four years, will now face seven finalists from Anchor care homes across the country to see who gains the top place in the competition.
Each finalist will have two hours at the Grand Final on 5 September to prepare a fortified snack, which is packed with nutritious ingredients which help maintain residents’ healthy weights, and a two-course meal.
The fortified snack Beth will be making for the final will be white chocolate Italian meringue éclairs filled with mango and lime curd and served with passionfruit coulis. Her two-course meal is a pan-seared breast of duck with beetroot, heritage vegetables with a blackberry jus with her dessert being coconut and raspberry Arancini with Chantilly cream, raspberry coulis, and garnished with spun sugar spirals.
Beth said: “I’m really pleased to get through to the final as I never expected it because I’m so young compared with the other chefs who have lots of experience. It’s going to be nerve-racking but fun too. I’m looking forward to it.
“Meals in care homes are wrongly stereotyped as being boring and out of a tin. That’s far from the truth so I wanted to show that I was able to create traditional dishes with a bit of a twist to make them more sophisticated."
“I held a taster session with the residents who were impressed with my menu. In fact, one resident was the inspiration for part of my main course. He used to grow his own beetroot and the different ways he used to include it in his meals inspired me. So the three ways I’m cooking the beetroot are as a puree, roasted and pickled."
“Food is an important part of our residents’ day so this motivates me to make them something they like and which will excite them, making mealtimes a memorable experience for them.”
Competition judge and organiser Richard Herne, Anchor’s Catering Manager, said: “The Chef of the Year competition is highly competitive as the top chefs from Anchor’s 114 care homes fight it out to gain this prestigious title.
“Meals are an important milestone in the lives of our residents so making sure that we continually improve our standards is essential. The Chef of the Year helps with that as it’s an opportunity for our chefs to share ideas and recipes.
“Encouraging residents to eat a wholesome and seasonal diet which they enjoy helps them lead happy and healthy lives.”
For more information about food in Anchor’s care homes, visit www.anchor.org.uk