Stuart Middleton of Meallmore Lodge Care Home, Inverness, is the National Association of Care Catering Care Chef of the Year.
At Barking & Dagenham College’s Technical Skills Academy, the 11 finalists from across the NACC’s six regions demonstrated culinary skills, creativity and knowledge in this specialist field of catering as they produced innovative and delicious two-course menus under the watchful eyes of the panel of judges.
After 90 minutes of intense competition, Stuart claimed the title with his winning menu of ‘traditional fayre with flair’ – haggis, neeps and tatties followed by a dessert of Culloden cranachan (a Meallmore twist on a classic).
The judges praised Stuart for an excellent menu and approach that delivered on taste, skill and presentation and showed clear understanding of his clientele. They were impressed by the authenticity of his dishes, his innovative interpretation of classics, the use of regional ingredients, his attention to detail, and the passion he shows through working with residents to create his menus.
“I competed last year but I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect, so I over-complicated everything. This year I simplified it. I engaged with my residents to create a menu they love and that’s Scottish through and through. I definitely enjoyed the final more this year. What an amazing day”
Peter McGregor of Perry Manor, Worcester, took second place, with Martin McKee of The Hawthorns, Aldridge, third.