Tim Ware has been named the National Association of Care Catering's (NACC) Care Chef of the Year 2020.
Ware, who is a chef at Green Tree Court Care Home in Exeter, received the award during an online prize-giving ceremony on 20 January.
Second place went to Matthew Dodds of Gracewell of Ascot, while Cheryl Crook from Heol Don Nursing Residential centre was third.
The final was delayed due to the impact of Covid-19, with each contestant competing in a series of online cook-offs from their own kitchens. Chefs had 90 minutes to produce a two-course menu for diners in a care home setting, with a combined food cost of under £2.25 a head.
Judges watched and questioned each chef on areas such as nutritional understanding, presentation and hygiene, while designated tasters ensured judges were aware of the flavour and texture of each dish.
Ware stood out for his menu of butter roast chicken, Bombay potatoes, spinach and shallot bhajis and a dessert of poached apricots, coconut and lime espuma, and pistachio filo pastry.
Sue Cawthray, NACC national chair, said: "Care chefs have played an important part in the pandemic frontline effort. The vital role of good food and nutrition as a fundamental part of quality care has been brought to the fore, so we were more determined than ever to find a way to recognise and celebrate care chefs up and down the country through this fantastic competition platform.
"The standard has been exceptional and is testament to the selfless dedication of care chefs who are driven to deliver excellence for their residents and clients, no matter what pressures they face."
The 2020 Care Chef of the Year finalists were as follows:
- Michael Collins, Blossom Fields Nursing Home, Grove Care
- James Cotton, Cavendish Park Care Home by Majesticare
- Cheryl Crook, Heol Don Nursing Residential Care
- Nellie Dhliwayo, Sunrise of Chorleywood
- Matthew Dodds, Gracewell of Ascot
- Anna Koziarkska, Auchtercrag Care Home, Meallmore Ltd
- Jack Lawson, Bunkers Hill Care Home, United Health Ltd
- Paul O'Brien, St Modans Care Home, Meallmore Ltd
- Brian Preston, Lister House, Royal British Legion
- Carmine Tarquilio, Mardy Park Resource Centre, Monmouthshire County Council
- Tim Ware, Green Tree Court