Team member Helen Ellis, a chef for Dine Contract Catering at Lisburne Court care home, has reached the northern finals of the National Association of Care Catering (NACC)’s Care Cook of the Year competition.

One of the longest-standing independent recipe competitions in the UK, the NACC Care Cook of the Year challenges chefs and cooks working across the sector to hone their skills and knowledge and demonstrate their culinary flair in a bid to be named the nation’s best Care Cook.

To be in with a chance of reaching the regional finals, each competitor was tasked with creating a nutritionally balanced two-course menu for four people, with each portion costing no more than £1.50 per head.

Helen was selected as a finalist for the Northern region after impressing judges with her main course of Pan Fried Trout with Beetroot Rosti and Pea Puree and dessert of Double Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Coulis.  While she missed out on a place in the national finals by just one point, Helen scooped the prize for the best dessert.

“To have come this far in such a challenging competition is a great achievement that Helen can be proud of,” said Ian Cartwright, Managing Director at Dine Contract Catering.

“Her task of creating a nutritionally balanced meal within a tight budget reflects the challenges faced by care home caterers on a daily basis and it’s a testament to her skills as a care chef that she reached this tough stage.”

Lisburne Court, part of the Borough Care group, is a specialist dementia care home in Stockport.  Helen has been providing delicious, nutritious meals for residents there since she joined the team at Dine Contract Catering in April 2014.