Self taught chef has been named the Care Home Chef of the year at the South West Great British Care Awards

The Great British Care Awards are a series of regional events taking place across the UK to recognise and celebrate excellence in the care sector. The awards honour individuals who have gone above and beyond in their field and demonstrate outstanding dedication.

Matthew Kavanagh, aged 52, has been nominated for an award in recognition of his compassionate approach to cooking, currently employed as a chef at the Kanner project in Plymouth. Matthew only has 18 months of being a professional chef and has been named the Care Home Chef of the year at the awards.

The South West service, which primarily serves adults with autism, welcomed Matthew to their team towards the end of the pandemic and eventually promoted him to the position of head chef.

Matthew is committed to providing care and support to individuals, often involving them in the kitchen when cooking and preparing meals. This aids in their self-confidence, allowing them to transition to independent living more smoothly.

He has shown a dedication to helping others since his time as a pre-school teacher in Cambodia, where he spent two years prior to joining the Kanner project in Plymouth. Initially, he was employed as a support worker in Plymouth.

Matthew, head chef at Kanner said: “I am delighted to have received this award, especially as I have only been a chef for the past 18 months.

“Since working at Kanner House I have developed a close bond with the individuals living at the facility, who love getting involved with the cooking and can now make excellent full English breakfasts!”

John Godden MBE, CEO at Salutem said: “We are very proud Matthew for receiving the award and representing everyone at Salutem.

“Matthew’s career journey is truly remarkable with his experience of working in several industries showing in the quality of work that is being delivered in the kitchen.”

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