A cook at New Tyne Resource Centre in Durrington is the best in the South East.
Ismail Polat, from Crawley, was winner of the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) South East of England after his two course dinner wowed the judges at the regional event last month.
Ismail, 39, works as a cook at New Tyne with three colleagues catering for the specialist needs of up to 40 people per day, including residents, day centre customers and staff.
The NACC Care Cook of the Year competition challenges individuals who work within the care sector to create new and exciting recipes.
In the regional final, entrants were given just 90 minutes to prepare a two-course meal, main and dessert, suitable for customers in a care environment and met NACC nutritional guidelines, all with a maximum budget of £1.30 per person.
As part of Ismail’s planning for the competition, he prepared the meal under the watchful gaze of some of the centre’s customers who then tasted the dishes and gave it their own stamp of approval.
Simon Kral, New Tyne Resource Centre Manager, said: “We are delighted with the result.
“A lot of hard work has been put into this, with Ismail dedicating a lot of his spare time to developing and preparing his menu but it was all worthwhile.
“We are all very proud of his achievement.”
Ismail will now take part in the national final in Leatherhead on Wednesday 12 June 2013.