Proving that food in the health and social care sector doesn’t have to be boring, Andrew Finch, Chef at Meadow View Court Extra Care Housing Scheme in Wateringbury, has won an award for his exceptional originality in creating sustainable dishes.
Andrew, who has been the chef at Meadow View Court for three months, took the runner up title at last week’s Healthcare and Retirement Living Chef of the Year Grand Final, run by Cater Plus and Elior.
The event took place at Billingsgate Fish Market, where the eight finalists battled it out in a tricky challenge to create three courses, in which the wastage from the main course and dessert, had to be used in your starter.
Andrew created a delicious pan-fried hake with mussels, prawns, cauliflower puree, seaweed and jersey royal potatoes, followed by a banoffee pie with lemon mousse and caramelized bananas. Using the left-over banana skins and cauliflower leaves, Andrew resourcefully fashioned a creative take on a caesar salad.
Andrew said: “Competitions are always tough because you never know what the judges are looking for. They said it was very close between the first and second place, of course I would have liked first place but second is good, it’s nice to be recognised for your hard work.”
Prior to joining Meadow View Court, Andrew’s background was in business and industry catering in London, it was a faster pace but during the pandemic it all came to a stop, which he says gave him the opportunity to re-assess his priorities and slow down
“There’s a lot more to food in extra care than people think,” says Andrew. “It’s not just stodge, we do have a lot of pride in what we do. Since I’ve been at Meadow View Court, I am getting feedback from the residents and looking at changes we can make. I’ve also set up a no dig herb garden, which will be great for growing fresh herbs, which we can use in our dishes.”