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A taste of success – Welsh chef scoops national award

A care home in Cardiff is celebrating after its Head Chef was recognised at a national awards ceremony for his culinary skills.

The Care UK Stars Awards recognise individual and team excellence at more than 150 care homes nationwide across Care UK’s homes.

Stuart Pelham, Head Chef at Llys Cyncoed, on, Cyncoed Road, competed against the culinary talents of chefs from across the UK and took home first place for ‘Chef of the Year’ at the 2023 Care UK Stars Awards.

The national cook-off was a true culinary skills showdown between the best care home chefs in the country, with contestants challenged to prepare a nutritional two-course meal that would appeal to residents.

All chefs who took part were shown a selection of mystery ingredients and had to create a menu with them.

Stuart’s menu included a chicken breast stuffed with chorizo and cream cheese, with a side of dauphinoise potatoes and spiced Provençal salsa, Provençal vegetable coulis and crispy basil. For dessert, he kept it fruity with a poached pear with chocolate orange drizzle, a cinnamon biscuit crumb and candied orange.

The judges praised the aesthetic presentation, as well as how well Stuart adhered to the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI).

Commenting on his win, Stuart said: “It was great to meet so many talented chefs and winning this award is definitely a career highlight. Thank you to the team who push me every day to do my best. I’m proud to be able to bring this award back to Llys Cyncoed.”

Virgil Frincu, General Manager at Llys Cyncoed, added: “The Care UK Stars Chef of the Year competition features so many talented chefs across the UK, and is a brilliant way for everyone to showcase their skills.

“Here at Llys Cyncoed, we are all so proud of Stuart and how he was able to showcase his talent for creating amazing nutritional meals that taste and look fantastic too.  Congratulations Stuart!”

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Designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence, Llys Cyncoed incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities. The homes have been configured into a series of neighbourhoods to help facilitate the creation of close-knit communities and encourage social interaction among the residents.


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