Simon Lawrence, executive chef for Hadrian Healthcare Group at Wetherby Manor, has been named the best care cook in the UK.
Lawrence clinched victory in the final of the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) Care Cook of the Year 2013 competition, held yesterday.
He saw off stiff competition with his two-course menu of oat crumbed mackerel and sweet potato fish cakes served with pea purée, roasted thyme potatoes and home-made horseradish sauce, followed by panna cotta with roasted rhubarb and caramelised fig.
Lawrence's menu also received the highly commended award for his main course.
Now in its 14th year, the NACC Care Cook of the Year competition rewards excellence in care catering.
All entrants were required to create a nutritionally-balanced, innovative and delicious two-course menu, main and dessert, that is suitable for customers in a care environment. Other criteria included a set budget of £1.30 per person, and the meal must be produced in 90 minutes.
Innovation, costing, suitability for the environment, adherence to nutritional guidelines, taste and overall menu balance were the key attributes being looked for by the judges.
Karen Oliver, national chair of the NACC, offered her congratulations Lawrence, adding: "The NACC Care Cook of the Year competition is vital for the care catering sector. As well as celebrating the true talent that exists within the field, it also fulfils the important role of raising the profile of the sector and highlighting the specific culinary knowledge, skills, flair and dedication required to ensure consistent excellence within care catering.
"This year's competition, and particularly the Grand Final, succeeded in doing just that. The overall standard of entries was higher than ever before, with entrants really pushing the boundaries and sharing best practice."