Two Cambridge chefs have taken gold in the Hospital Chefs Team Class at the 2010 Le Salon Culinaire International de Londres, which took place at Hotelympia this week.
Organised by the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA), the awards aim to give hospital chefs the opportunity to demonstrate their craft skills, unrestricted by the boundaries set by NHS recipes and menus.
Diane Kairiene and Gintare Malinauskaite (pictured) from Lifespan Catering, Anglia Support Partnership, Cambridge, took the gold best in class award and automatically become the HCA's Hospital Chefs of the Year 2012 as a result.
Their winning dishes were a main course of Norfolk pork devil parcel stuffed with prunes & cheese with caraway seeds served with a cream mustard & mushroom sauce, on a bed of creamed potatoes & carrot mash with fresh purple sprouting broccoli and a dessert of spicy apple pie with caramel sauce served with cinnamon ice-cream.
The judges recognised all seven of the hospital chef teams of two with an award - three gold, three bronzes and one certificates of merit. In addition, the HCA hospital teams scooped four Hygiene Award Certificates.
Commenting on their success, Kairiene and Malinauskaite said: "It is a fantastic achievement for us and the whole catering team at Lifespan Catering.
"The success of all the contestants demonstrates just how skilled hospital chefs are and the huge emphasis that is being placed on preparing meals which are healthy and nutritious, including locally sourced ingredients that are tasty and beneficial to hospital patients."
The other two gold award winners were Peter Rorbach and Thomas Warren-McCauley from Mid Cheshire Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust (Leighton Hospital) and Vito Silvano and Andrew Russell from Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn NHS Foundation Trust.
Finalists had one hour to prepare a two-course meal for four covers, with appropriate accompaniments, suitable for serving to NHS patients, at no more than £2.05 a head. All entrants must also provide a detailed breakdown of their costings in addition to the recipes, ingredients and method.
Janice Gillan, chairman of the HCA, said: "Patient satisfaction with hospital food is achieved as the result of the sheer determination of hospital chefs to rise to the challenges and to be willing to hone their own knowledge and culinary capabilities.
"The level of achievement at Salon Culinaire 2012 is clear evidence of the fact that hospital chefs are making a real contribution to increasing the standard and variety of the meals on NHS menus."
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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