The NACC Care Chef of the Year 2018 competition is now officially open for entries.

The National Association of Care Catering’s (NACC) prestigious culinary competition seeks out the nation’s best chef working in the care sector.

Designed to continually challenge care chefs, the competition requires them to create new exciting recipes whilst adhering to a strict budget and meeting the nutritional needs of their clientele. It also celebrates the excellent talent, skills and professionalism of chefs in the sector and raises its profile as a rewarding, dynamic career choice.

Sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Cooks and Premier Foods, the NACC Care Chef of the Year 2018 is open to chefs from across the care sector – including residential homes, local authorities and other care organisations, plus community services such as meals on wheels, day centres and luncheon clubs.

The deadline for entries is Friday 2 February 2018.

Neel Radia, national chair of the NACC, said: “We’re very excited to launch our search for the 2018 NACC Care Chef of the Year. As the longest standing UK culinary competition for the care sector, it has a fantastic reputation for showcasing the exceptional skill, talent and knowledge held by care chefs. As well as meeting nutritional needs, the dishes they create are incredibly creative and delicious, and they would not look out of place in the finest restaurants.

“This competition is a great way of raising the profile of care catering and motivating and developing chefs. Catering for those in a care environment is challenging. The elderly and vulnerable have specific dietary needs and it’s crucial to their health and wellbeing that these are correctly and safely met. That’s exactly what care chefs and caterers work tirelessly to ensure every day.

“The standard of entries grows year on year and 2018 is sure to be an impressive and inspiring competition. I urge all chefs to enter and I look forward to the excitement unfolding throughout the regional heats and, of course, the national final.”

The NACC Care Chef of the Year competition challenges entrants to create a nutritionally-balanced, two-course menu (main and dessert) that is suitable for service users in a care setting. The combined food cost for both courses should be no more than £2.25 per head based on three portions and it must be nutritionally balanced. The menu must also incorporate one of the Premier Foods brands listed in the competition entry brochure. Participating chefs will have just 90 minutes to produce their dishes and they will be expected to demonstrate nutritional understanding of the foods they are using, plus culinary flair through flavours, execution and presentation.

All paper entries will be judged by a central judging panel that will be looking for innovation, costing, suitability for the environment, adherence to nutrition guidelines, taste and overall menu balance. Successful entrants will be invited to compete at the regional heats in March 2018*, where they will have 90 minutes to produce their dishes and demonstrate their skill set under the watchful eye of the competition judges.

The two highest-scoring competitors from each regional heat will secure a place in the national final on Wednesday 6 June 2018 at Barking & Dagenham Technical Skills Academy. Here they will compete for the coveted title NACC Care Chef of the Year 2018.

For more information on the NACC Care Chef of the Year 2018 competition and to download an entry form visit