The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has announced the six finalists of its 2013 Care Cook of the Year competition (CCOTY).
The six cooks from across the UK will compete for the title at Unilever Food Solution's development kitchen in Leatherhead, Surrey, on 12 June. They will be tasked with creating a two-course menu suitable for service users in a care setting with a total cost per head of £1.30.
Mary Wedge, NACC deputy chair, said: "Catering within the care sector requires very specific knowledge and skills. From the fundamental issues of nutrition, budget and specific dietary needs of service users, to the important factors of variety, creativity, great taste and presentation, there is a lot to be continually considered and learnt in order to maintain excellence.
"The NACC Care Cook of the Year Competition gives chefs and cooks in the sector the opportunity to showcase their talents and champion their field, whilst also pushing the boundaries and sharing ideas and best practice."
The final line up is:
Alan Innes, head cook, Appin House, Fife Council (Scottish region winner)
Simon Lawrence, group executive chef, Hadrian Healthcare (Northern region winner)
Kevin Beebe, cook in charge, Y Plas Care Home, Carmarthenshire County Council (Wales region winner)
Amanda Smith, chef manager, Greensleeves Homes Trust (South West region winner)
Ismail Polat, cook, New Tyne Resource Centre, West Sussex County Council (South East region winner)
Jaroslaw Figiel, head chef, Hampton Grange Nursing Home, Hereford (Midlands region winner)
The competition is recognised as one of the longest-standing independent recipe competitions in the UK and attracts top chefs from across the care catering sector.
Wedge added: "The standard of this year's competition has been incredible and our six finalists are testament to this.
"I congratulate them on their achievements so far and wish them the very best of luck in the Grand Final. It's sure to be a fantastic and nail-biting event and we look forward to crowning the NACC Care Cook of the Year 2013!"