Bettina Martin, Head Chef at Gibraltar Nursing Home has been shortlisted for Vegetarian For Life’s 2022 Awards for Excellence in Vegetarian and Vegan Care Catering.

This will be the sixth annual awards run by the charity, which is the UK’s leading authority on diet and healthy living advice for older vegans and vegetarians. The event will be held in Westminster at the Houses of Parliament on the 23rd of November 2022 and will deliver inspiring talks covering best practice throughout the day.

The aim of the ceremony is to recognise the special efforts made by chefs delivering innovative catering for the increasing number of vegetarians and vegans moving into care homes each year. On being nominated for Care Chef of the Year, Bettina said, “I am very proud to be going to Parliament to represent the chefs who work so hard for our company at Evolve. I’m also quite nervous – this was very unexpected!”

Having begun her culinary career training in a beautiful al a carte restaurant in the Monmouth countryside, the 50-year-old chef joined the kitchen team at Gibraltar Nursing home in 2019. Bettina arrived at the home with an interest in presenting vegetables in an artistic layout, having even catered for a Vegan wedding, and soon progressed to Head Chef after impressing the team and residents with her creatively designed plates. She also involves them in the cooking of their food, upholding the home’s values of encouraging independent living and occupation.

Gibraltar’s kitchen team buys their fresh produce from Evan’s Monmouth, a small family-run business that supplies local products from local farmers. “We are lucky enough to have fantastic local suppliers. Nothing is ever too much trouble for them”, Bettina tells us. They provide her with fruit and veg that is sourced according to seasonality and offers an environmentally sustainable way of eating.

“My favourite dish to cook is probably the vegetarian rose quiche, but I also like to invent dishes like my 5 B’S which is on my Christmas menu as a starter. It consists of basil, bruschetta, and blackberries in balsamic vinegar with buffalo mozzarella.”

Finally, we ask Bettina what being nominated means to her. “The award means everything to me and my team. It means my vision of giving our family members beautifully tasting, attractive food full of nutrition is working. The feedback has been so positive from them and this award just reinforces the hard work my team and I have put in.”

Best of luck to you Bettina – and we’ll definitely be popping in at Christmas time to experience your 5 B’s dish!

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