Inclusive cuisine wins Mill House Chef Tom place in the NACC Care Chef regional finals

Here at Mill House in Chipping Campden, we are proud to announce that our Head Chef, Tom Timms is a finalist in the South West Regional cook-offs for the NACC Care Chef of the Year 2020.

During a series of regional heats across England, Scotland and Wales, care chefs will be showcasing their exceptional talent, skills and knowledge in this specialist field of catering to secure a coveted place in the National Final.

With his innovative, tasty two-course menu, suitable for all residents regardless of their care needs Tom stood out for his in-depth nutritional understanding of the ingredients used, as well as aptitude and flair in flavour combinations. Tom worked extremely closely with residents designing a menu that features their favourite foods and involved them in the development of the dishes from choosing the ingredients to preparing and presenting the plates. He is now preparing to go head to head at the regional heats where he will compete for the NACC Care Chef of the Year 2020 title.

When Tom joined Mill House as Head Chef, he had no prior experience or exposure to the care sector, but his moral, ethical and professional integrity told him, there was a very real opportunity to improve every aspect of the dining experience for residents. He trained with Caring Homes participating in their City and Guilds accredited programme which takes Chefs through how people’s senses, routines and appetites change with age along with their ability to consume nutrients in the same way, enhancing his existing skills and knowledge forming a very clear understanding around dysphagia and dementia diets.

Using his passion, creativity and with a total commitment to his residents he undertook a large amount of research regarding the needs of his residents, getting involved in developing their person-centred care plans, learning their likes, dislikes, allergies, preferences, habits, ability, routines and where they prefer to eat. Knowing that these experiences can change over time he now develops and offers a larger variety of highly quality nutritious food, well presented.

His menu for the regional heat finalised with residents Maureen and Audrey, consists of Three bean ragout filled roasted red pepper with an Apricot Melba Pavlova and a ‘McDouglas’ Raspberry Vegetarian Jelly and can be tailored as a soft or pureed option meaning it is fully inclusive for all residents.

Tom explains;

“As Chefs we know that food will need enhancing to compensate for the loss of some of the senses in the person living with dementia. So, we can induce appetite. The more you know about the resident the easier it is to adapt to their needs and expectations.

“The way we think about dementia continues to develop with person centred care – putting the person before the dementia and doing what is best for each individual. We see the person first not the dementia.

“Mealtimes are a big part of everyone’s day and food is a subject that we all love to talk about. People living with dementia are no exception to this. Eating and drinking well is an important part of keeping us all healthy and happy. The way we offer, and design food is essential as well as how and where it is served. The choices that are given make a real difference to those who are eating it. Sometimes the smallest things have the biggest impact.”

Tom has all passed all three of Caring Homes Group Dementia training standards ‘Living in my World’ which has enabled him to understand how his food has the potential to positively impact on the lives of residents at Mill House. He will be cooking his heart out on the 12th March in Trowbridge with everyone back at Mill House willing him on.

With a first prize of £600 plus a trophy, a residential delegate place at the NACC Forum 2020 and an opportunity to demo with a 1-year membership to the Craft Guild of Chefs the competition is open to all chefs/cooks in the care sector. It takes place over six months, with the paper judging stage and regional heats culminating in an exciting live national final on 3rd June 2020 where the NACC Care Chef of the Year is crowned. Throughout the process, the expert judges whittle down the competitors to the final twelve as they look for innovation, costing, suitability for the environment, adherence to nutrition guidelines, taste, overall menu balance, presentation and, of course, pure talent.

Designed to challenge care chefs, the competition is no mean feat. They are tasked to create an innovative, tasty two-course menu (main and dessert) suitable for someone in a care setting that clearly demonstrates strong nutritional understanding of the ingredients used, aptitude and flair in flavour combinations, technical execution and presentation.

Mill House is looking wonderful after its recent refurbishment which was revealed just weeks ago by MP for the Cotswolds, Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown. The home and dedicated care team provides the highest standard of residential, nursing and dementia care for up to 45 elderly residents in a friendly and supportive environment.

If you would like to find out more about life at Mill House, please contact us on 0808 223 5524.

Mill House

Home Manager

Anna Senir


Sheep Street,
Chipping Campden,
GL55 6DR

0808 223 5524
View care home

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
To Whom it may concern,

RE: A message from the CEO and Clinical Director

At Caring Homes we are following the latest Government advice and stopping visitors to all our homes, except for essential visits by healthcare professionals who will be required to adhere to strict protocols.

We understand that this may be very difficult for families but we are clear in our duty to ensure we protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our Residents and Colleagues as our top priority.

We want you to know that you can contact your loved ones through calls, emails, video and social media and we will support our Residents to view any messages you send over. We are confident that the teams in our homes are doing all they can to ensure that life remains as comfortable and sociable as possible. There will be a full programme of activities delivered by our in-house health and wellbeing teams.

We hope you will understand and support these actions and any further subsequent measures we might need to put in place.

Yours sincerely