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Grampian team narrowly miss out in NHS Good Food Challenge

Graham Stewart prepares food
Graham Stewart prepares food

A team of chefs from a north-east hospital cooked up a storm at a recent national competition.

Scott McKenzie and Graham Stewart, from Aberdeen’s Royal Cornhill Hospital, were in the final of the NHS Good Food Challenge.

The team, representing NHS Grampian, narrowly missed out on the top prize and finished in second place behind overall winners NHS Lothian and ahead of NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

Judges praised the “restaurant quality” food produced by the Grampian chefs, who made a two course meal beginning with a smoked haddock and spring onion tartlet and a main course of chicken stuffed with skirlie.

During the final, which was held at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank, the dishes were judged by a combination of a panel and patient ratings.

As hospital food is produced on a large scale, teams had to produce up to 50 of their dishes at the same time.

The Good Food Challenge is organised by NHS National Services Scotland and is a new competition which tests the skills and imagination of hospital catering teams across the country in using traditional homegrown ingredients.

Mr Stewart, who has worked at the hospital for nine years, says the traditional aspect was one which didn’t prove too challenging.

He said: “At Cornhill we get a lot of elderly patients who like their traditional food.

“I’ve worked at hotels including the Hilton here and the Marriott at Dyce and the basic principle of what you’re doing is the same.

“We get feedback from patients and visitors and it is mostly really positive.”

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