Sanctuary Chef tastes success

Suzanne Pinney competing at Sanctuary Care Chef of the Year
Suzanne Pinney competing at Sanctuary Care Chef of the Year

A talented Sanctuary Care chef got taste buds tingling at an annual Chef of the Year Competition.


Suzanne Pinney, chef manager at Hatfield Residential and Nursing Home in Hatfield, Hertfordshire went head-to-head with six colleagues from across the organisation in a 90-minute cook-off to win the final of Sanctuary Care’s Chef of the Year Competition.


Suzanne dished up a mouth-watering menu– a fancy twist on a very traditional dish with slow cooked ham seasoned with honey, scotch duck egg in black pudding coating and sweet potato and celeriac chips. Suzanne’s prizewinning dessert was an orange and redcurrant bread and butter pudding with homemade ice cream on the side.


The competition, which was held at their head office in Surrey this week, has been running for seven years and is open to cooks and chefs from Sanctuary Care’s homes across the country.


Entrants were tasked with creating a main course and dessert which would be suitable for people in a care setting. Their dishes were judged on innovation, nutrition, balance and of course taste.


On winning first place, Suzanne said: “I am so pleased to have won, the competition is always high and after a few years of coming second it feels amazing to take the top spot – I have been practicing none-stop with my boyfriend testing every dish, he is now a self-proclaimed foodie.


“I think the Chef of the Year Competition is a lovely opportunity as it’s great to meet with the other chefs and showcase our creative flair – there really is some fantastic talent in Sanctuary Care that many wouldn’t assume existed in care homes.


“Ham, chips and egg is a dish that my residents adore so I can’t wait to share with them that their favourite dish scooped me first place!”


Jennie Azizi, Sanctuary Care’s National Operations Director – who judged the dishes on the day, added: “The standard of entries this year was outstanding and our chefs should be so proud of themselves. They are a shining example of what can be achieved if you have flair and passion and I am so proud to have them as part of our team.


“Care catering is an area of the catering industry which doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves and competitions like this are a wonderful way to show how talented and creative our chefs truly are.”


Top judge, Paul Wright, continued: “It was a privilege to judge Sanctuary Care’s competition. I’m thrilled to be part of an event that encourages and supports great culinary standards, as ultimately they help more people thrive in care.”


The panel of judges comprised Sanctuary Care’s Director of Care Operations Stephen Rees, Jennie Azizi and Paul Wright.


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