Avery Healthcare’s Masterchef winner has been announced! Paul Burch, just 24 years old from Elm Bank Care Home in Kettering won his regional final in February 2012 and went head to head with 3 other regional finalists in the Cook Off held at The Red Lion in East Haddon, Northampton. The final was judged by The Red Lion’s Michelin Star Chef Adam Gray, Avery’s MD John Strowbridge and Commercial Director Ian Matthews.
Avery already has a reputation for raising standards across all aspects of care provision. With good nutrition being at the top of its agenda Avery is renowned for producing top quality food across all of its homes. John Strowbridge commented, “Paul Burch is a deserving winner – the standard in the competition was extremely high and I am sure Paul will agree that it was a tough process. Avery and other operators have an obligation to continue to raise the bar and improve the standard of food prepared in homes to ensure the nutritional needs of residents are being met. Meal times are an important time socially and nutritionally and so our chefs are required to create a ‘meal time experience’ and deliver first class food for a range of palates, it’s no easy undertaking and we value the work they do. The four finalists all worked extremely hard and deserved their place in the final – all the finalists have been awarded a prize”.
Paul wins an all expensed trip to glorious Puerto Banus and the other three finalists received a £200 cash prize each.
Winner Paul Burch added, “I am absolutely thrilled to have won this competition. However, it was a challenge as the other chefs were extremely talented – I think we all felt the pressure as we progressed through the competition. Adam Gray was an inspiring coach and I think all the contestants gained a tremendous amount from the process.
Being a chef in a care setting certainly presents its challenges but it forces chefs to become more creative in their approach to both cooking and presentation. We aim to create a ‘dining experience’ for residents – one they play an active role in. We involve residents in planning menus and in food preparation. It works to improve their relationship with food. I am absolutely delighted to have won and am looking forward to the trip to Puerto Banus”.
The competition formed part of Avery’s staff training and development programme but it was also designed to reward the chefs for their hard work and dedication to the role. Every chef goes through a rigorous interview and training process and each chef must complete the Avery chef competency assessment tool, which means they are trained in both nutritional needs and resident social needs. Just further evidence of Avery’s commitment to raising standards across the industry.