14th June 2013

Hadrian Healthcare Group Chef Is UK's Best Cook

Simon Lawrence, Hadrian Healthcare Group’s executive chef has won the prestigious title Best Care Cook in the UK at the National Association of Care Catering awards.

Based at the group’s newest luxury care development Wetherby Manor in the centre of Wetherby, Yorkshire, Simon leads the chefs at the group’s nine care homes across the north of England.

He said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to have won the title.  This is the third year I’ve entered, the standard is incredibly high and the competition is fierce. It’s a real pleasure to compete with people who really care about what they do.”

The judges praised Simon’s thoughtful and organised approach and enthused about the great flavours of his winning menu of oat crumbed mackerel and sweet potato fish cakes served with pea puree and roasted thyme potatoes with a home-made horseradish sauce, followed by pannacotta with roasted rhubarb and caramelised fig.  Simon’s menu also received the Highly Commended Main award.

Ian Watson, owner and chairman of Hadrian Healthcare Group said: “Simon joined the group in October and was attracted to Hadrian because of its commitment to excellence across the board. Our residents’ welfare, which includes catering, is always at the heart of what we do.

“This national accolade is without doubt well deserved.  Simon’s culinary knowledge and passion for quality, variety and presentation are demonstrated every day and he’s an inspiration to our catering team, helping all our residents to live well and healthily.”

The group’s homes are designed to give residents a very special dining experience with bistros and cafes, and staff are trained in food preparation and service. 

Simon and Hadrian Healthcare Group’s operational support manager Karen Brimble are currently leading a project with Northumbria University to optimise the group’s menus for nutrition and hydration. 

Simon began his career in the Royal Navy, joining straight from school as a junior cook. He progressed to leading cook, catering for the ship’s officers who at one point included HRH Prince Andrew.

He has experience as a head chef in restaurant and college catering, and has worked in the care sector as a chef and in catering training for seven years. Simon won the National Care Awards Chef of the Year title in 2010.  

The NACC Care Cook of the Year Competition challenges chefs and cooks working in the care sector to really push themselves, honing their skills and knowledge, and demonstrating culinary flair.  It is one of the longest-standing independent recipe competitions in the UK.


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