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Trust chefs come second in NHS catering competition

Two chefs from Nottinghamshire Healthcare came in second place, out of 14 contestants in the Midlands heats of NHS Chef 2021.

NHS Chef is a new award scheme hosted by NHS England and NHS Improvement. It was developed to help NHS catering staff feel part of the wider catering sector, to inspire and motivate them and to celebrate their successes and recognise excellence. NHS Chef 2021 also includes a mentoring event and practical sessions, highlighting the best of NHS catering, chefs’ skills, catering knowledge and menu engineering.

Julie Taylor and Rosanna Stanforth, based at Hopewood CAMHS and Perinatal Mental Health Unit, went to University College Birmingham on Thursday 2 September to compete in the Midlands heats of NHS Chef 2021, and came second. 

The judges were Phil Shelley, Chair of the Hospital Food Review and Nick Vadis Chef ambassador to NHS Supply chain.

Alongside coming second place overall, they also won the best plant-based menu category. They used chickpea water from the home made hummus to make their meringue and the cream was made from lentil protein. They had a great day with a master chef like experience.

Caroline Twells, Facilities Support services Manager said:

“Facilities services are so proud of their achievement and they should be extremely proud of themselves. Well done Julie and Rosanna”

They won a cookery book, medal and trophy.

Amanda Atkins, Catering Supervisor at the Trust, nominated Julie and Rosanna after their dishes - including Moroccan Chickpea and Couscous Salad; Salmon and Broccoli Pasta Bake; and Vegan Eton Mess – drew high praise from staff and patients alike!

There are seven regional heats in NHS Chef 2021. Along with NHS caterers from across the Midlands, Julie and Rosanna had to prepare, cook and present a three-course meal in line with hospital food budgets. The meal had to reflect Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering Services, the Department of Health and Social Care’s Obesity Strategy and be nutritionally balanced in accordance with the British Dietetic Association. It was presented in a way that is realistic of a hospital setting and placed in a serving trolley for ten minutes before judging.  

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