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HCA heats up for Hotelympia Hot Cookery Competition

The Hospital Caterers Association’s (HCA) biennial Hot Cookery competition returns to the Live Theatre at Hotelympia on Thursday March 3, at 1.15 pm.


Eight finalist teams will have one hour to compete for the coveted Gold Best in Class chef’s team award. Each team must prepare a main meal and dessert, suitable for a NHS client and the food cost must not exceed £2.10 per head. The teams will present detailed costing for their menus and the meal must be suitable for generic NHS patients with emphasis on reduced saturated fats, sugars and salts whilst being nutritionally sound.


Sponsored by Hobart Cooking Solutions and The Worshipful Company of Cooks, at least 65% of all ingredients must be farmed or produced within the UK and both courses must be suitable to produce 50 portions. Two portions must be presented high-end restaurant style and two portions presented as if served from a bulk- service ward trolley. The main course must include vegetables and beef as a protein item.


The Hot Cookery competition is part of International Salon Culinaire, which is one of the UK’s largest and most prestigious chef competition programmes. Previous winners from 2014 include London Clinic’s Bela Szekeres and Gabor Rajona who triumphed with a main course of pan-fried fillet of mackerel marinated in turmeric and orange, served with tomato and avocado salsa and Kentish new potatoes followed by a dessert of rice pudding with British strawberry compote.

The competition is an excellent opportunity for hospital caterers to develop and then showcase new dishes to their peers and the wider public. The HCA publishes the finalist’s recipes from each year on its website.


HCA National Chair Phil Shelley comments: “We are tremendously proud of the high standard and quality of this year’s competitors which seems to improve year on year.


“New recipes have a huge impact on hospital kitchens but many staff don’t have the time or resources to try out new things. This competition showcases recipes which, by the nature of the competition rules, will be compliant and ready to use within NHS kitchens nationwide.”


The full list of this year’s finalists are:


* Newcastle Freeman Hospital - Mark Seales and Jamie Bolam

* Frimley Park Hospital - Bilan Gurung and Bobby Womersley

* University Hospital Ayr - Phil McPherson and Campbell Rodgers

* Darlington Memorial Hospital - Daniel Bamlett and Ian Glenton

* Golden Jubilee National Hospital - Allan Campbell and Iain Keowan

* Great Ormond Street Hospital - Andrew Page and Jean Spio-Garbrah

* North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust - Richard Kirton and Ian Cannon

* Betsi Cadwalader Local Health Board - Zoltan Furjes (North Wales Adolescent Unit – Abergele) and Robert Worgan (Ysybty Gwynedd – Bangor)