Fife chefs reach care cook final

From  left to right:  Bruce Calder of Unilever Food Solutions, Margaret Stewart, Alan Innes, Andy McDougall, chef lecturer at West Lothian College, and Margaret Clarke, National Association of Care Catering's Scottish Region chairman.

From left to right: Bruce Calder of Unilever Food Solutions, Margaret Stewart, Alan Innes, Andy McDougall, chef lecturer at West Lothian College, and Margaret Clarke, National Association of Care Catering's Scottish Region chairman.

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Two Fife chefs have beat off stiff competition to reach the final of a national cooking competition.

Alan Innes, who is a chef at Appin House Care Home in Kirkcaldy, and Margaret Stewart, who works as a chef at Methilhaven Home in Methil, are set to compete in next month’s national final of the Care Cook of the Year 2014 culinary competition that aims to find the best care cook in the UK.

The pair stirred their way through the Scottish regional heat of the prestigious contest, impressing the judges and earning a deserved place in the national final.

On June 11 Alan and Margaret will compete in a live cook off against ten other talented care cooks from across the country with the aim of securing the coveted title of Care Cook of the Year 2014.

Organised by the National Association of Care Catering (NACC), the competition is one of the longest-standing, independent recipe competitions in the UK.

It challenges competitors to come up with new and exciting recipes appropriate for a care environment, highlighting the true culinary flair and particular skill sets required.

To secure their places in the final, they were required to create a delicious and nutritionally balanced two-course menu, featuring a main and dessert, suitable for service users in a care setting and with a total food cost of no more than £1.50 per head based on four portions.

Alan’s mouth-watering menu included wood pigeon, braised vegetables and wild nettle mash, followed by deconstructed aerated cheesecake with fruit shot.

While Margaret’s scrumptious menu comprised of meatballs with a tomato and basil sauce served on a bed of pasta, followed by white chocolate and raspberry pannacotta.

Their creative and mouth-watering menus impressed the judges, as did their culinary skills and knowledge, which they showcased to the judges at the regional cook-off.

In just 90 minutes they produced a first-class menu that demonstrated innovation, costing ability, suitability for the environment, as well as following nutrition guidelines and demonstrating great taste.

Neel Radia, national chairman of the NACC, said: “I congratulate Alan and Margaret on their great success so far in the competition and wish them the very best of luck in the national final.”

As well as the title of NACC Care Cook of the Year 2014, the overall winner will claim a superb prize package and trophy.