Palmersdene care home Chef reaches finals of Chef of the Year
A chef from a care home in Jarrow has beaten off rivals to secure a place in the finals of a national catering competition.
Former marine Alan Bulmer, 62, who has worked at Palmersdene care home in Grange Road West for four months, said he was thrilled to be among the top chefs in Anchor’s Chef of the Year award.
Alan, who was also a Catering Operations Manager serving alongside the armed forces in Afghanistan, Africa and Iraq, will now battle it out against seven finalists from Anchor care homes across the country to see who gains thetop 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.
Alan has chosen to make Jacks Tipple – a fruit salad in lightly whipped cream – for his fortified snack while for his main dish, he will be serving up his special Palmers chicken with Dene potatoes, which are named after his care home, peppered kale and mango and apple chutney sauce. His dessert will be stewed fruit on a buttered shortbread base and baked with a date and nut sponge served with salted caramel custard.
He said: “A job in care is completely different to serving with the forces and love it. I know how important good meals are and I wanted to help look after older people.
“I’m passionate about food and always want to improve on my catering. I hope someone would do the same for me when I get to my residents’ ages.
“I was excited about securing a place in the final. I couldn’t believe it. I trialled my menu with my residents during taster sessions and they absolutely loved it. I hope the judges do, too!”
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.
Photo: Alan Bulmer, from Palmersdene care home, busy at work ahead of Anchor’s Chef of the Year competition.