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Sodexo supports 2023 NHS Chef of the Year competition

7th Sep 2023 - 07:00
NHS Chef of the Year competition
Sodexo Health & Care has announced that it is supporting the 2023 NHS Chef of the Year competition by providing competition teams with access to its Circles Service and creating educational content for other NHS chefs to benefit from.

A video series is being created to share the learning and development experience of the participating chefs with the wider NHS culinary community. The series will cover a range of subjects including allergen management, creating children’s menus and minimising waste.    

The NHS Chef of the Year competition was launched in 2021 following recommendations in the Independent Review of NHS Hospital Food to support and develop hospital chefs. The competition aims to raise the profile of NHS chefs by giving them a platform to showcase their talent, skills and creativity.  

The competition, which runs from June to November, is open to two-person teams from NHS hospitals across the country. Each team has been tasked with creating healthy, nutritious meals with a budget of £5-6. The Stockport NHS Foundation Trust catering team duo Erica Bell and Shelley Pearson-Smith were crowned as the winners of the 2022 NHS Chef of the Year competition. 

Phil Shelley, senior operational & policy manager and chair of the NHS Review of Hospital Food said: “This competition highlights the best of NHS catering, chefs’ skills, catering knowledge and menu engineering. We are delighted to have Sodexo on board to support the competition.

“As NHS Trusts and providers work towards achieving the standards and make progress, new and exciting initiatives continue to emerge which not only enhance the food and drink available but also the experience of patients, visitors and staff. Our intention is to run this programme annually and with the support of organisations such as Sodexo we will be able to do this. 

“The new food standards for healthcare address the broad aspects of hospital food provision such as governance, workforce development, food waste as well as the choice and quality of the provision available, our aim is to continue to elevate hospital nutrition and hydration to board level accountability.”

Throughout the competition Sodexo will provide the competing teams with access to its Circles Service which it already provides to a number of its NHS hospital clients staff and patients.

The Circles service enables competitors to seek personal and professional support whilst balancing their work and home life as well as competition commitments.

Simon Lilley, director of strategy and marketing for Sodexo Health & Care, added: “We have had lots of interest from our chefs from right across our organisation including those working at prestigious events and venues or working for global organisations, all of them keen to support and passionate about helping improve the standards of food services delivered in the healthcare sector. We are proud to have their support and to be a part of this exciting and important competition.”

Written by
Edward Waddell