A COOK at an extra care home scheme in Basingstoke was “highly commended” by judges at a Chef of the Year competition.

Janet Bolsover, a chef at Abbey Court, in Popley, Basingstoke, made it to the final of the 2014 Pride Catering Chef of the Year competition held at the headquarters of food company Unilever, in Leatherhead, Surrey.

Eight chefs were shortlisted for the award and they were all asked to create a two-course menu inspired by the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The menu had to incorporate a theme of “digging for glory with a modern day twist” and finalists were asked to use seasonal and local ingredients at a cost of £2 per meal.

Judging the menus were Paul Wright, development chef for Unilever, Peter Clarke, chairman of Kff, Robert Weiner, consultant for Educo, and the winner of last year’s competition, Stuart McGarne.

And despite not winning the Best Chef award, Jan was highly commended by judges with her menu of Whole Somme Fish Pie and Roll Out the Barrel desert, which was a mix of baked apple, and fruits of the forest wrapped in a pastry case with crème anglaise.

As a reward for her efforts, the grandmother-of-six was given a chef’s jacket, certificate and a medal.

Jan, who joined the team at Abbey Court in December, said: “Although I didn’t win the competition, I got a commendation, which I was really pleased with as this was the first year I’d entered.”