Alan cares about his cooking

From left: Andy McDougall, chef and lecturer, West Lothian College; Margaret Clarke, chairman, Scottish Region National Association of Care Catering; Alan Innes, head cook, Appin House, Kirkcaldy; Mark Taylor, customer controller for foodservice, Premier Foods.

From left: Andy McDougall, chef and lecturer, West Lothian College; Margaret Clarke, chairman, Scottish Region National Association of Care Catering; Alan Innes, head cook, Appin House, Kirkcaldy; Mark Taylor, customer controller for foodservice, Premier Foods.

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THE head chef at a Kirkcaldy care home is just one step away from being crowned the nation’s best care cook.

Alan Innes, who works at Appin House in the town, triumphed in the Scottish Region heat of the Care Cook of the Year 2013 competition to scoop a place in the national final which takes place on June 12.

The contest has been organised by the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) and it is one of the longest-standing, independent recipe competitions in the UK.

It challenges competitors to create new and exciting recipes appropriate for a care environment in the search for the nation’s best Care Cook. It also highlights the true culinary talent, specific skills and knowledge required to ensure excellence and success as a chef or cook working in the care sector.

The judges were very impressed with Alan’s mouth-watering menu of lemon tea salmon, Savoy bubble & squeak, sweet pickle carrots and peppers, followed by mascarpone raspberry mousse.

The judges felt he demonstrated a real knowledge, expertise and flair in the areas of innovation, costing, suitability for the care environment, adherence to nutritional guidelines, taste, and overall menu balance.

The contest is open to all chefs and cooks in the care sector and calls upon entrants to create a delicious and nutritionally balanced two-course menu, main and dessert, suitable for those in a care setting - meeting the set budget of no more than £1.30 per head.

Mary Wedge, deputy chairman of the NACC, said: “Catering within the care sector requires very specific knowledge and skills. From the fundamental issues of nutrition, budget and specific dietary needs, to the important factors of variety, creativity, great taste and presentation.

“The NACC Care Cook of the Year Competition gives cooks in the sector the opportunity to showcase their talents and champion their field.

“The standard of this year’s competition has been incredible and our finalists are testament to this. I congratulate Alan on his great achievements so far and wish him the very best of luck in the national final.”

She added: “It’s sure to be a fantastic event and we look forward to crowning the NACC Care Cook of the Year 2013!”

The overall winner will claim a superb prize package and trophy.