A tense cook-off worthy of MasterChef saw Russell Hesketh of Heyberry House in Birkenhead triumph as Anchor’s Chef of the Year.
Russell (pictured far left) was chosen ahead of seven finalists who put together a main course and dessert for three Anchor judges at University College, Birmingham.
“I am so pleased to have won as this was a really tough competition,” Russell said.
“I can’t wait to get back to Heyberry House to show the residents the trophy and treat them to something special food-wise.”
As part of the competition, Russell asked for his resident’s views on the best two-course menu to represent the home. The competition entry included a meal for residents with dysphagia who have eating difficulties.
The Anchor judges were: National Care Quality Manager Rob Martin, Catering Manager Richard Herne, who specialises in catering for those with dysphagia, and Head of Care Maria Bamford.
All the dishes were examples of food the chefs serve to residents in their care homes.
Competition organiser Andy Seal, from Anchor’s service delivery team, said: “The chefs’ dishes were all delicious and well presented, making the judges’ task very difficult.
“All the chefs’ work shows just how good care home catering can be when there are passionate, skilled people in the kitchen. And it’s a great career – many chefs come to us because of the social hours they work and the big difference they make to older people’s lives.”