Hospitality Assured client Caring Homes’ chef Steve Harding was delighted to win the Care Chef of the Year title at the 20th National Care Awards on Friday.

Steve drives the quality, nutritional value and presentation of cuisine for residents living with dementia and those experiencing dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) through applying research, knowledge and passion creating daily menus.

Steve, who works at Dormy House Care home in Sunningdale, Berkshire, is a hugely passionate chef and the leader of Caring Homes’ Chef Development Training programme which has recently achieved City and Guilds status for the extension of Caring Homes ‘My World’ Dementia Training. The training will feature Steve’s ground-breaking work on producing dysphagia foods which truly meet the needs of many of our residents.

Food in My World will upskill colleagues across the hospitality team to stimulate senses and increase creativity in the cooking and presentation of food providing a much-improved dining experience for residents living with Dementia and or Dysphagia.

Steve’s competition menu for the National Care Awards was made up of dysphagia dishes consisting of smoked haddock scotch egg, cloaked lamb cannon and a banana, parsley, walnut and lemon tart to finish.

The judges praised Steve’s initiative and creative approach to providing food for people living with dementia saying, “Steven displayed the knowledge required for working in these care homes. Steven’s innovative approach to catering for dysphagia was creatively displayed in his dynamic approach to addressing the needs of the residents.”

Steve said: “I am surprised and delighted to win this prestigious award. I was the only chef cooking dysphagia food in the cook-off and it is fantastic that this is being recognized within the industry as the best way forward for care home cuisine.”

Steve consistently demonstrates his culinary craftsmanship at Dormy House, with attention to detail and technical ability in delivering and producing high quality food and drinks, that not only meet the nutritional requirements but which also meet the needs and expectations of his residents. His food is balanced, colourful, and extremely tasty. A lot of consideration goes into its appropriateness for each resident, for example contrasts, textures, spacing, flavours, density, temperatures, consistencies, size and shape.

All winners of the National Care Awards were presented with their trophies by host Jon Culshaw (pictured) at the high-profile Gala Night held at the Hilton London Metropole and attended by over 700 guests. The National Care Awards are the longest established annual awards in the care home industry and celebrated their 20th Anniversary this year.

The Awards – which are organised along with the Dementia Care Awards by social care’s leading publication, Caring Times – are devised to celebrate the very best people in the long-term care sector, highlighting excellence and rewarding those who work tirelessly to provide consistently outstanding care. There were 18 categories to enter overall with four or five finalists in each category.

The attached photo shows Steve receiving his award from the evening’s host impressionist Jon Culshaw and one of the judges of the Care Chef category Carol Schofield from Purchasing Support Services.

To find out more about Caring Homes, visit their website here
To find out more about Hospitality Assured, visit their website here