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NHS chefs come together to focus on the future of food and hospital kitchens

NHS chef mentoring event at First Choice Group HQ

Healthcare chefs took part in cook-offs, recipe demonstrations and dedicate mentoring sessions at a special event put on by three of the biggest names in the UK foodservice equipment industry.  

More than 50 of the NHS’ brightest culinary talents converged on First Choice Group’s conference facility in Cannock for the event, which was held in conjunction with Hobart and MKN.

With sustainability being a key topic in the industry, the theme for this year’s event was ‘The Future of Food’ and included a talk on ‘The Net Zero Kitchen’ from the NHS Greener Team, as well as a live cookery session from Meatless Farm titled ‘Enhancing menu choice for healthy, low carbon eating’.

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Across three days, the event saw guest speakers, including Nick Vadis, culinary director at Compass Group and the chef ambassador to NHS Supply Chain; Phil Shelley, chair of NHS Food Review 2020; Emma Brookes, head of soft FM strategy and operations at NHS England; and Dr Rupy Aujla, an NHS GP who started ‘The Doctor’s Kitchen’, deliver engaging sessions.

The delegates were also introduced to key industry mentors, each able to support the chefs to serve a quality menu to patients and visitors in their care settings.

Stuart Brereton, business development manager at MKN, said: “The NHS Mentoring Event was a great way for us to show our commitment to those who’ve given so much to our nation in recent times. From world-class mentors to an impressive line-up of speakers, the event delivered a fantastic agenda.

“We were also keen to raise awareness of the need to support the future of food, with many of the sessions and the live demos, hosted in the dedicated First Choice kitchens, centred around ongoing sustainability.”

Simon Gardiner, regional manager – south at Hobart UK’s Equipment Division, commented: “We were delighted to welcome chefs from across our National Health Service to a dedicated mentoring event hosted by First Choice. At Hobart, we wanted to show our support to those in our industry who’ve worked tirelessly by providing an invaluable service to our nation. What better way to do this than to bring together a celebrated line-up of guest speakers and a group of well-respected mentors to give something back.”

Using First Choice Group’s purpose-built event facilities, which include conference space, break-out rooms and a fully functioning professional kitchen, the event culminated with a light-hearted Ready, Steady ‘Plant Based’ cook-off to pit the delegates against one another.

John Whitehouse, managing director at First Choice Group, added: “It was a real honour to host the NHS Mentoring Event, in association with MKN and Hobart at First Choice. With everything our great health service has put up with over the past 18 months, to be able to give something back by way of a dedicated mentoring event, including some fantastic speakers and a fun cook-off competition was just a small way of us saying our thanks.”

Tags : healthcareNHS
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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