21st January 2014

Lal Wins Hadrian Healthcare Group Chef's Competition

Hadrian Healthcare Group has held a master chef style tournament for its catering staff, sponsored by Tyneside Foodservice and catering supplier Nisbets, at Northumbria University.

Hadrian Healthcare Group’s executive chef Simon Lawrence, winner at the national Care Awards 2010 and current holder of the National Association of Care Catering ‘Best Care Cook in the UK’ title, said: “Through the competition we wanted to highlight the work of our hardworking catering teams and recognise the talent we have in our kitchens.

“Good food contributes to the physical and mental health of our residents.  You can improve someone’s health with the right foods for their condition, which in turn can improve their lifestyle. 

“We’ve been working with Northumbria University over the last year to optimise our menus for nutrition and hydration.

“Presentation is also very important, and we aim for the highest standards in everything we do.”

All the company’s catering staff were invited to take part in the competition by creating a menu of main course and dessert for four people. The meal had to have a healthy balance of food groups, use fresh produce and demonstrate understanding of how the dishes are suitable for residents with different conditions.

Finalists then took part in a cook-off at Northumbria University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.  They were joined by the company’s compliance manager Chris Davison from the head office team, who also originally trained as a chef. 

Winner Lal Mapalagma, based at Wetherby Manor in Wetherby, and runner up Michael Harper based at Sunnyview House in Leeds, will now both submit their menus to the National Association of Care Catering Care Cook of the Year competition for 2014.

Lal’s winning menu consisted of lemon and pepper marinated salmon with roquefort dressing and vegetables, followed by poached pear with berry coulis, kiwi puree and ricotta. He said: “Salmon is an oily fish containing omega 3 and vitamins A and D, and there are more vitamins in the vegetables and fresh fruit. The fruit also refreshes the palate.”

The judges were Simon Lawrence, Carole Marshall registered nutritionist and senior lecturer in Human Nutrition and Food Science who has worked with Hadrian Healthcare Group for over a year in a consultancy role, and registered nutritionists Dr Fiona Caple and Dr Julie Young also from Northumbria University.

Carole Marshall said: “The standard of all the finalists surpassed my expectations and they demonstrated different strengths and skills. Lal’s planning and presentation were outstanding.”

All finalists received personalised chef’s jackets from Chef Works and Nisbets, and further prizes were kindly donated by Nisbets and Tyneside Foodservice.

The competition results and prizes are:

First prize – Lal Mapalagma                          
(trophy, set of knives donated by Nisbets, £150, bottle of champagne)
Second prize – Michael Harper                            
(trophy, set of pans donated by Tyneside Foodservice, £100, bottle of champagne)
Third prize - Jennie Smith                                
(£100 Marks & Spencer vouchers donated by Tyneside Foodservice, bottle of wine)
Best main course - Graeme Marshall                      
(£75 Marks & Spencer vouchers donated by Tyneside Foodservice)
Best dessert - Lal Mapalagma                             
(£50 Marks & Spencer vouchers donated by Tyneside Foodservice)
Highly commended main course – Chris Davison 
(£25 Marks & Spencer vouchers donated by Tyneside Foodservice, bottle of wine)
Highly commended dessert - Patricia Hedley 
(£25 Marks & Spencer vouchers donated by Tyneside Foodservice, bottle of wine)

At each of Hadrian Healthcare Group’s homes food is prepared and cooked in-house. Homes are designed to give residents a very special dining experience with bistros and cafes, and staff are trained in food preparation and service. 

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