As part of its ongoing commitment in supporting the healthcare channel, Premier Foods, has teamed its nation’s favourite gravy brand, Bisto, with Country Range, the leading independent foodservice brand.
With an increasing ageing population in the UK and Ireland and a quarter of the UK population to be aged 65 or over by 2066 , celebrating the work of care chefs up and down the country has never been more important.
Held at Premier Foods’ head office in St Albans, the showdown saw the five finalists prepare and cook three portions of their main meal and dessert dish bespoke recipes within 90 minutes. Each caterer was asked to include a Bisto product within their main dish and a Country Range product in their dessert, with the total budget for the two dishes not to exceed £2.25.
The judges – Louise Wagstaffe, culinary advisor at Premier Foods, and Emma Holden, marketing manager for the Country Range Group, had the tough decision of choosing one overall winner from the outstanding finalists’ dishes.
Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods, commented: “The final was an incredible day; the standard of dishes was impeccable and the contestants really thought outside of the box when it came to their menus, from the preparation to the final presentation. The detail that went into each dish was impressive, the contestants were asked to consider a lot of factors, from the cost of ingredients, to the final texture and taste.”
Country Range Group judge, Emma Holden, said: “I can’t believe another year of the competition is over, it’s a great event in our calendar and a celebration which is really important to the team at the Country Range Group.
“The competition highlights the importance of shining a light on the care catering industry and the incredible work which they do. Mealtimes are a really key part of residents’ days within care homes and producing a menu which isn’t too time consuming, adheres to budget constraints and is an appropriate taste and texture, can be a real challenge.
The top prize in the annual Bisto Care Caterer of the Year competition, in association with the Country Range Group, has been scooped – with a ‘cheeky’ little number.
After a tense live cook-off, Kevin Price from Oulton Abbey Care Home in Staffordshire, was crowned champion – with a winning menu of Bisto Slow Braised Ox Cheek, and Country Range Lemon and Ginger Tart.
Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods, commented “I want to say a huge thank you and congratulations to all those who took part and attended; you really did the care catering industry proud. Finally, a massive well done to Kevin whose delicious menu landed him the accolade of Bisto Care Caterer of the Year, in association with Country Range.”
“The contestants we saw today took that challenge head on and the final dishes were outstanding. I want to say a massive thank you to all those who entered, attended and a huge well done to our winner, Kevin.” – Emma Holden, Country Range Group Marketing Manager.
Winner, Kevin Price, head chef, at Oulton Abbey Care Home, said: “My passion is to serve a balanced menu that provokes nostalgia amongst residents and means they enjoy their dining experience every day. “At the care home we strive to make meal times a relaxed, memorable and engaging occasion that in turn promotes good nutrition. The Bisto Care Caterer of the Year, from entry to the final, was so well organised and highlights the importance of all of these aspects, it’s a fantastic opportunity to show the level of skill and passion that care home caterers strive for. “It’s important to offer residents flavours that they may not have tried before, incorporating new trends, styles and cooking techniques into the dish, and those who partook demonstrated exactly this. The care sector is in fact one of the most rewarding industries to work in and I want to say a massive congratulations to all the talented chefs in the final, it is an honour to have been crowned the winner.”