Meet Our Country Court Chef of the Year 2022

Chef Manager Ben Morris, from The Grange Care Home in Saffron Walden has been crowned the Country Court Chef of the Year 2022. The annual competition is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the fantastic work of the Chefs at Country Court. The cook-off for the five finalists was held at the Brakes innovation kitchen in Reading.

The finalists were asked to showcase the very best of the fine dining menus in their care home. They were asked to prepare a main course and dessert of their choice. The dishes were sampled and judged by Country Court Chairman Abdul Kachra, and joint-CEOs Alykhan Kachra and Al-Karim Kachra.

We caught up with Ben and asked him about his career in catering and life at The Grange Care Home.

How did you start your career in catering?

"When I was 15 years old, I went for work experience and opted to work at a 2-rosette fine dining restaurant, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Subsequently, this led me to pursue a catering course at college while working in this restaurant.

 After I gained my full catering qualification, I moved around to various restaurants both in England and abroad in Australia."

What led you to working in a care home?

“On my return from Australia, I was a Chef Manager at a well-established golf course, where I worked for several years before transitioning into the care industry. 

At the time, I was new to the catering side of the care industry. But my interview with Country Court impressed me due to their fine-dining approach and ethos towards the food they served their residents. 

I believed I could bring something to the company with my approach to cooking.” 

Tell us about a typical day at The Grange.

“On a typical day, I arrive bright and early, around 6 am, and start the day with a hot coffee followed by writing a detailed preparation list for the day. I will tackle any urgent preparation jobs and prepare breakfast for our residents. 

At The Grange, we have a capacity for 40 residents with varying nutritional and dietary requirements and preferences. All our food is homemade and cooked using fresh seasonal ingredients. 

For lunch, we serve a two-course sit-down meal and homemade afternoon teas. Then in the evening, we offer supper accompanied by fresh soup, sandwiches, and dessert.”

What did you cook for the judges?

 “I cooked Pacific-roasted halibut with a curried parsnip puree, asparagus, edamame beans & a coconut & chili sauce. For dessert, I made a melting chocolate sphere filled with raspberry and chocolate brownie with caramel sauce and chocolate soil.”

What was your favourite dish to cook?

“My signature dish is the chocolate sphere.

 There was an element of risk in choosing this dish for the competition. My concerns with the time element of the challenge were, would the chocolate set in time? Would the brownie cool enough, or would it stay too warm and melt the chocolate? These risks added to the pressure on the day. When it all came together, it was even more satisfying. Overall, I was happy with how both dishes turned out.

To find out more about working in a care home visits our careers page here https://www.countrycourtcare.co/careers/

Share -

Read more

Contact us

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.