Aria Care chefs showcase their culinary excellence

Chef of the Year Roddy

At Aria Care we are celebrating the successful completion of our first-ever “Chef of the Year” competition, a Masterchef-style culinary challenge that showcased the incredible talent and skill of our chefs.

The competition, held at the Brakes Culinary Innovation Centre in Reading, provided a platform for our chefs to exhibit their culinary talents.

The event brought together six of the finest chefs from across our homes, who vied for the coveted title by creating exquisite dishes. The judging criteria for the final were stringent, focusing on presentation, nutritional value, taste, textures, and the innovative use of products.

One of the highlights of the competition was the use of the new Duck egg blue Churchill stonewash crockery, which will soon be introduced to all our homes alongside an independent toolkit of crockery, cutlery, and drinkware to support all residents’ individual requirements from dexterity challenges to visual impairment and living with Dementia.

Chefs were given a mystery box with 14 food items and were encouraged to maximise creativity and resourcefulness by incorporating as many mystery box items as they could into their dishes. For each unused item, one point was deducted from their total score.

The panel of distinguished judges for the competition included special guest Annie, a resident at Abbeycrest Nursing Home. Annie used to be a private permanent Cook for 18 years in Henley-on-Thames. She did not have any training, but she had a talent and people enjoyed her meals.

The other judges were Caroline Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of Aria Care, Max Opperman, Vice President of Highgate Hospitality Investment and Management, Danny Silcock, Executive Chef at Brakes and James Clear, Aria Care’s Hospitality Director.

All finalists received certificates to commemorate their impressive performances. The overall winner of the “Chef of the Year” competition was Roddy McKinnin from Scoonie House Care Home in Fife, Scotland, who was presented with a trophy.

James Clear commented, “today has been a fantastic day for the chefs to showcase their skills competing against their colleagues to become Aria’s first chef of the year. The 6 chefs have really pushed themselves to create some delicious nutritious meals from the mystery box of items in a two-hour time limit. We are very proud of all of the chefs and they are all winners in our eyes.”

Chef of the Year Finalists

Chef of the Year Roddy with produce

Chef of the Year VIP Judge Annie

Chef of the Year Judges

Chef of the Year Menus

Chef of the Year Dessert