NHS Chef 2024: open for entries


Registration is now open for two-person teams to enter NHS Chef 2024.

Now into its fourth year, NHS Chef provides practical experience, mentoring and peer networking through which chefs are gaining knowledge, confidence and the opportunity to enhance – and ultimately showcase – their skills. "The NHS Chef 2024 will build on the success of NHS Chef 2023, which was won by Dylan Lucas and Darby Hayhurst, who are based at East Lancashire Hospital," says Phil Shelley, Chair of the Food Review and Senior Operational & Policy Manager for NHS England.

“The challenges faced by NHS chefs over the past few years have been unprecedented. This has not however stifled innovation or creativity,” Phil adds. “This year’s competition will focus on reduced saturated fats, sugars and salts and be nutritionally sound. All menus will be shared across the NHS and form part of a wider national NHS Menu Bank.” 

Regional events will be held in July and August, and the winners will move onto a three-day mentoring event to be held in Cannock from September 3 – 5. The national final will be held in York from October 13 – 18. The exact format of the final will be shared at the mentoring event when the teams are assigned a mentor.


Regional events

The challenge for the regional heats is for competitors to produce a three-course meal that is lower in carbon, within a budget of £6 – £8. The menu must be suitable for generic NHS patients, with an emphasis on the Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering Services (GBSF), the Department of Health’s Obesity Strategy and be nutritionally-balanced, in accordance with the British Dietetic Association (BDA) guidance

In addition:

• One course must be allergen-free

• The starter must be plant-based (competitors can merge the first two requirements)

• No form of nut may be used throughout the competition

• The main course must have a minimum of 26g of protein per portion, which can be meat, fish or other times, and must be served hot

• The dessert should be based on 50% fruit content and may be served hot or cold.


More information

NHS Chef is open to chefs paid directly through the NHS, or through its contracted catering suppliers who prepare staff, visitor and/or patient meals. It is free to enter. 

Entries should be submitted via email to: [email protected], clearly marked NHS Chef 2024, by no later than June 21, 2024.

Full information about NHS Chef 2024, including entry forms can be found on FutureNHS

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