Entering industry cooking competitions will bring many benefits for both a chef and their place of work. This could be everything from national competitions to more sector specific events like Bisto Care Caterer of the Year or LACA School Chef of the Year.

We’ve been chatting to the chefs at Premier Foods to discover the impact that entering competitions can have on a chef’s career and their own personal development.

  1. Competitions provide chefs with the opportunity to network with judges, chefs and sponsors which can provide new ideas and opportunities. Whether it’s meeting a future employer, discovering a new supplier or hearing about a successful initiative in another workplace, the chance to connect with others can be invaluable.
  2. By following a brief set by the competition organisers, you are forced out of your comfort zone and encouraged to create a brand-new recipe or menu that meets the competition guidelines. When you are cooking the same dishes day-in day-out, taking time to be creative and come up with new ideas is important.
  3. Making the final or winning chef competitions will provide opportunities to put yourself in the spotlight with exciting PR and marketing opportunities. For the Bisto Care Caterer of the Year, the team at Premier Foods puts finalists into the limelight via industry press and its own social media channels. Winning events like this can also generate local PR for your care home.
  4. Breaking your daily routine and doing something for yourself can be good for the mind. Take yourself away from the kitchen to brainstorm your ideas before you start cooking.
  5. Finalists will be cooking at the Premier Foods Head Office in September and this provides a new experience to cook in a different kitchen, which helps develop a chef’s own skills. Taking part in a live cooking competition also provides an exciting, adrenalin-filled opportunity that you wouldn’t get on a daily basis.
  6. You are able to be part of putting care catering in the spotlight. Last year the level of dishes that were created in the Bisto Care Caterer of the Year final, with such a small budget, were phenomenal and you can play a part in showing the hospitality world how much talent there is in care catering.
  7. There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs in chef competitions which will make the hard work worthwhile. In the Bisto Care Caterer of the Year the first prize is £1000 for the care home as well as £250 in John Lewis Vouchers for the winning chef.

The brief for Bisto Care Caterer of the Year is to create a main course which includes a Bisto product and a dessert dish using a Country Range dessert product. Chefs should ensure the total budget for the main and dessert does not exceed £2.25. You can download the entry form via the Premier Foods website. Entries should be returned by 2nd August 2019.