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NACC knocks up 2021 national chef competition

The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has launched its search for the best chef working in the care sector by opening entries for its Care Chef of the Year 2021 award.

All chefs and cooks working across the care sector can enter the culinary competition that recognises, showcases and celebrates their talent and sector-specific knowledge and skills.

Focusing on the importance of food, nutrition and positive mealtime experiences as part of quality care, entrants are challenged to create an appealing and delicious two-course menu - main and dessert - appropriate for people in a care setting. 

The combined food cost for both courses should be no more than £2.25 per head based on three portions and it must be nutritionally balanced. The menu must also feature a product from sponsor Unilever Food Solutions’ sector-relevant portfolio.

In addition, in a move that highlights the importance of cleanliness and hygiene best practice in the care sector and as a key factor for success in the competition, the NACC has reintroduced the Hygiene Award, which will be sponsored by the Unilever Professional Cleaning range.

All paper entries will be judged by a central judging panel and successful chefs will be invited to compete at the regional heats in June.

Here they will have 90 minutes to produce their dishes and demonstrate their skill set and knowledge under the watchful eyes of the competition judges.

The judges will be looking for clear nutritional understanding of the foods they are using and how they benefit the needs of their clientele, plus culinary flair through flavours, menu balance, execution, presentation, and, of course, hygiene best practice.

The two highest-scoring competitors from each regional heat will secure a coveted place in the national final on Wednesday 6 October 20213 at Stratford-upon-Avon College.

NACC national chairwoman Sue Cawthray said:  “As well as propelling the importance of the care sector to the forefront of consciousness, the pandemic has put a much-needed spotlight on the vital link between good food and nutrition and good care and wellbeing.

“It is important that we keep the momentum around this conversation and that’s exactly what our competition can do, whilst also celebrating care chefs and giving them the opportunities to develop both professionally and personally.”

The entry brochure can be downloaded at and the deadline for entries is Friday 30 April.

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