The winners of the Care Home Catering Awards 2023 have been crowned, including an independent care home that is incorporating extra care measures to ensure that dining with dementia is more catered to.

The awards were presented at the annual Care Home and Hospital Catering Forum, which was held at Haberdashers Hall in London on Thursday 8 June.

During the day, speakers shared their insight with attendees on a range of topics facing the sector, providing presentations on how to manage hydration and nutrition for residents, tackle the importance of textured-modified diets in vegan and vegetarian dishes. Several leading caterers also provided case studies from their operation.

The line-up included Sue Cawthray, national chair of the National Association of Care Catering, Simon Billing, executive director of Eating Better, Neil Russell, chairman of PJ Care, and the HCA's vice president, Iain Roberston.

The Care Home Catering Awards 2023 were then presented, with five awards handed out, announced by Theo Bostock, corporate chef at Rational.

The Chef of the Year award went to Majlinda Ndoj.

Majlinda Ndoj, chef at Cooperscroft Care Home

In her nominations, colleagues described Ndoj as "passionate and prideful" and "always striving to be a better chef". With importance on pastisserie and using locally-sourced produce, Ndoj is said to be talented and dedicated to training her staff.

The Care Home Catering Team of the Year award went to Llys Cyncoed catering team under Care UK, managed by Stuart Pelham.

From left to right: Theo Bostock, the catering team at Llys Cyncoed and editor of Care Home Catering, Bryony Reid

The team is being recognised for their efforts throughout the pandemic and all the work they've maintained since. With a dedication to keeping residents connected to the 'outside world' via social media, every chef takes prides in sharing the meals they've created. Including masterclasses and campaigns, pride shines in everything they produce.

Our Independent Care Home Caterer of the Year award was taken by Hazelwell Care Home, based on the Wirral.

They were described as offering a range of care and has great emphasis on how to properly present dining rooms and create an experience for those with dementia, including specialised dinnerware that helps retain fine motor skills. Unfortunately, they were unable to attend the award ceremony but will be visited to be congratulated.

The Group Care Home of the Year award was presented to Country Court.

Caterers from Country Court came to collect their award

Put forward as a catering team that ensures all residents’ voices are heard after every meal time, with the chef on duty making the rounds and ensuring that every meal is tailored to the residents’ preferences. With a highlight on the mentorship from operations managers, staff have the choice to do additional courses through college or elearning.

And finally, the Above and Beyond Special Award was presented to Mark Meacham.

Mark Meacham from HC-One took home the Above and Beyond Special Award

He was awarded for going above and beyond in his role to develop new structures and business that puts housekeeping and catering at the core function of organisations. Described as ambitious for his learning and training of over 7000 staff across multiple areas, he has been impactful and created new systems to keep track of many admin elements such as training stats, residents weight loss charts, food budgets, and online workshops, which has saved a lot of time for staff, allowing them to prioritise their support of their homes.

Congratulations to all of our 2023 winners. The details of the 2024 awards will be announced later on in the year.

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