Chef cooks up culinary treats on way to final

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A Market Harborough chef has secured a place in the national final of a top culinary competition.

Peaker Park Care Village chef Sam Wicks is to compete in the national final of the Care Cook of the Year 2014 competition that crowns the Best care cook in the UK.

Sam beat stiff competition in the Midlands regional heat of competition.

On Wednesday, June 1, he will compete in a live cook-off against 11 other talented care cooks or the title of Care Cook of the Year 2014.

The competition organised by the National Association of Care Catering is one of the longest-standing, independent recipe competitions in the UK.

It challenges competitors to devise new and exciting recipes appropriate for a care environment, highlighting the true culinary flair and particular skill sets required to ensure continued excellence and success within the important sector of care catering.

To secure his place in the nation final, Sam was required to create a delicious and nutritionally balanced two-course menu, main and dessert, suitable for service users in a care setting and with a total food cost of no more than £1.50 per head based on four portions.

His creative and mouth-watering menu of blushed salmon with spinach, followed by rice pudding with apple topping, impressed the judges, as did his culinary skills and knowledge, which he showcased to the judges at the regional cook-off.

National Association of Care Catering national chairman Neel Radia said: “Catering within the care sector requires very specific knowledge and skills.

“There are a number of factors that care caterers need to fully understand and consider when planning menus for the elderly and vulnerable entrusted to their care.”