Care Cook Hoping to Handle the Heat Of the Kitchen

by Heather Peebles

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Maria, Bield A West Lothian chef is hoping to be named the crème de la crème of care cuisine as she makes her debut entry into the industry’s most prestigious competition.

Hoping she can handle the heat of the kitchen, Maria Mclean, Chef at Bield’s St Andrews Court in Uphall, is competing in the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) Cook Of The Year challenge.

The Scottish heat of the national competition will take place at West Lothian College on 19 March where Maria will battle it out against six others to secure a place at the Grand Final in London in June.

The culinary challengers will take part in a 90 minute ‘cook off’ where they will be asked to rustle up a tasty two course meal, suitable for four people in the care environment, all for just £6.

Maria said; “I’m thoroughly looking forward to the competition although I must admit the nerves are starting to kick in.

“Cooking is my passion and I absolutely love being able to make some of the residents lives at St Andrews Court that little bit brighter by serving up their favourite meals but this will be an altogether different challenge.

“Designing a menu on such a tight budget has been pretty tough but I’m hoping that what I have created will impress the judges.

“The team at Bield have been absolutely fantastic helping me prepare for the competition and I’ve even done a mock ‘cook off’ to see if I could handle the pressure.

“Luckily it went well, and other staff members and residents seemed to enjoy my dishes so fingers crossed the judges will think the same on the day.”

Maria’s menu consists of a main course of chicken Jacqueline served with duchess potatoes and orange glazed carrots, followed by a dessert of mocha fudge pudding drizzled with crème Anglaise sauce.

Brian Logan, Chief Executive at Bield said, “We are absolutely delighted that Maria is entering the Care Cook of the Year Competition.

“The residents at St Andrews Court always look forward to her meals and definitely think she is capable of impressing the judges.

“Maria always goes out of her way to ensure that residents enjoy their meals and we are hoping her culinary flair will be given the recognition it deserves at the competition and wish her the very best of luck.”

Bield – a registered charity – has grown from humble beginnings, starting out with one housing development in Bo’ness to become a major provider of a wide range of housing and services for around 20,000 older people across 22 local authority areas.

Private: Heather Peebles

Based as a PR in Edinburgh, Heather Peebles is a highly-valued member of the team at Holyrood Partnership. Her work with the Scottish public relations consultancy sees her advising clients in healthcare, construction, renewables and logistics. As well as delivering numerous successful PR campaigns, she is also experienced in crisis PR and reputation management.

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