TWO Scottish care home chiefs are in the final of a prestigious culinary competition.

John Grover, from Meallmore’s Auchtercrag care home in Ellon and Brian Gollan, from Meallmore’s Ivybank care home in Falkirk, triumphed over five other Scottish care chefs to secure the coveted spots in the final of the National Association of Care Catering’s (NACC) Care Chef of the Year competition.

The master chefs made it through to this stage by impressing the judges with innovative two-course menus (a main and a dessert), which met a tough criteria of having to be nutritionally balanced, suitable for a care setting, cost no more than £2.25 per head for four portions and be produced in just 90 minutes.

Last year was the first time the Care Chef of the Year crown came to Scotland, with Stuart Middleton from Meallmore Lodge in Inverness securing the overall win.

John, who also made it through to the 2016 final, said: “It feels great to be recognised for a second time.

“Competing for the last couple of years was a fantastic experience and I received some really useful feedback from the judges which I’ve taken on board to make my dishes even better this year.

“It’s also exciting going head to head with another Meallmore chef.

“In fact, four of the seven regional finalists this year were Meallmore care home chefs, which I think demonstrates the high calibre of chefs that the company recruits.

“With Stuart being the first Meallmore chef to bring the crown to Scotland last year, both myself and Brian are extremely determined to keep it here this year!”

The NACC Care Chef of the Year competition spotlights the care catering sector and the talented, qualified chefs operating within it.

Neel Radia, National Chair of the NACC, said: “As the longest standing UK culinary competition for the care sector, it has a fantastic reputation for showcasing the exceptional skill, talent and knowledge held by care chefs.

“As well as meeting nutritional needs, the dishes they create are incredibly creative and delicious, and they would not look out of place in the finest restaurants.

“Catering for those in a care environment is challenging.

“The elderly and vulnerable have specific dietary needs and it’s crucial to their health and wellbeing that these are correctly and safely met.

“That’s exactly what care chefs and caterers work tirelessly to ensure every day.”

The national final will take place on Wednesday June 6 at Barking and Dagenham Technical Skills Academy in Barking.

Meallmore is a leading provider of nursing and residential care in Scotland run by experienced qualified nursing and care staff. It invests in highly skilled staff and resources for a high level of care.

Pictured from left are Louise Wagstaff of Premier Foods, Brian Gollan, John Grover and contest judge Robert Mclaughlin, chair of theWest of Scotland Hospital Caterers Association.