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BBC Food & Farming Awards 2014: BBC Cook of The Year
27/11/2013 - 15:56

Al Crisci, the prison catering manager who opened The Clink, is leading the search in this year’s BBC Food & Farming Awards.

The chef, whose own work was serialised in a BBC 1 television series, is calling on people to send in nominations for inspirational caterers working in any institution, from hospitals to schools, work canteens to care homes.

It’s the 14th year of the BBC Food & Farming Awards and one of the 11 categories is the BBC Cook of The Year a category, dedicated to the people serving good healthy food in any institutional setting. These are thousands of cooks across Britain often working to tight budgets, delivering great food but often receiving little public recognition.

Nominations open on January 5th, for three weeks only. Anyone can send in a nomination. Cooks and caterers can also nominate themselves.

The judging panel includes chefs Raymond Blanc, Richard Corrigan and Valentine Warner, restaurant critic and broadcaster Charles Campion, and drinks writers Victoria Moore and Pete Brown.

The 11 categories include Best Food Producer, Best Drinks Producer, Best Local Food Retailer, Best Food Market and Best Street Food/Takeaway.

The best ideas that come through the judging process will be featured on BBC Radio 4’sThe Food Programme and a special edition of the BBC Food & Farming Awards, also on Radio 4.

Talking about the people he wanted to recognised in the Awards Al Crisci said: “it could someone in a school, a hospital, care home or prison……  any type of public sector kitchen, it can also be someone preparing  meals for a charity service or a private company, I really want to hear about the people behind the scenes delivering a fantastic service day in, day out.Budgets are tighter than ever but there are people out there pushing the boundaries and doing things differently, whether it’s the way they source their or put real creativity into their menus.”

Nominations will remain open until Monday January 27th. To vote visit  www.bbc.co.uk/foodawards.