Martin Mckee has been named the National Association of Care Catering’s (NACC) Care Chef of the Year 2019.
McKee, head chef at Avery-managed residential care home the Hawthorns in Aldridge, won the top spot after a hard-fought national final in Stratford-upon-Avon college yesterday.
The chef managed to impress judges with his pan-roasted cod, fondant potatoes, garden peas and vegetables with sauce vierge – a dish that also won him the Highly Commended Main award – and a dessert of white chocolate, lemon and thyme mousse, rosemary shortbread with sherbet and raspberry.
Tim Ware of Green Tree Court, Exeter, took second place, while Carl Weston of Cuffley Manor Care Home, Potters Bar, took third. Graham Watson of Lauder Lodge, Edinburgh, took the certificate for Highly Commended Dessert.
McKee said: “I’m overwhelmed, especially after seeing the standard peak on this my fourth year of competing. I’m absolutely honoured to have won.”
Neel Radia, the NACC’s national chair, added: “The NACC Care Chef of the Year competition provides a fantastic platform to showcase the incredible talents of care chefs and raise the profile of care catering and the rewarding and exciting career opportunities it offers.
“This is exactly what we’ve achieved this year. From menu development, flavour combinations and presentation to execution, nutritional knowledge and professionalism, the finalists delivered and impressed. They are wonderful ambassadors for the care sector. Being able to watch the chefs in action was a real treat for their supporters and our guests, and we thank Stratford-upon-Avon College for being such great hosts.”