Vegetarian for Life

Veggie Hero Past Winners

The VfL Awards for Excellence in Vegetarian and Vegan Care Catering recognise individuals who have responded creatively to the challenge of catering for vegans and vegetarians in a care setting. The awards help to highlight the importance of catering to the growing number of older vegans and vegetarians receiving care.

Every year we receive a whole host of nominations, representing some wonderful candidates. The winners of previous years are listed below.


  • Veggie Care Chef of the Year: Attila Volosinovszki, Cinnamon Care Collection
  • Most Innovative Veggie Dish: Juan Lopez, Birchwood Grange (Avery Healthcare) – for his vegan lemon panna cotta with blackberry-basil coulis
  • Veggie Wholesaler of the Year: Bidfood
  • Hospital Caterer of the Year: NHS Supply Chain: Food
  • The Beulah Charity Trust Special Recognition Award: HC-One Catering & Housekeeping Support Service Team


  • Veggie Care Chef of the Year: Bettina Martin, Gibraltar Nursing Home (Evolve Care Group)

  • Most Innovative Veggie Dish: Philip Meyer, Rivermede Court (Cinnamon Care) – for his filled cabbage leaf with a pepper purée, and soya milk pannacotta with a kiwi lime layer and vegan cinnamon shortbread.

  • Veggie Wholesaler of the Year: Bidfood

  • Hospital Caterer of the Year: East Lancashire Hospital Trust

  • The Beulah Charity Trust Special Recognition Award: The Catering Team, Garden City Court (Quantum Care)


  • Veggie Care Chef of the Year: Champa Mistry, of Avery Healthcare's Birchwood Grange Care Home in Harrow. Announced by television and radio presenter, property expert, and writer, Jasmine Harman.
  • Most Innovative Veggie Dish: Tom Waters, of Barchester Healthcare's Ashfields Care Home. Announced by actress Roxy Shahidi, best known for playing Leyla Harding in ITV soap Emmerdale.
  • Veggie Wholesaler of the Year: Anglia Crown was announced by Scottish actor Paul Higgins.
  • The Beulah Charity Trust Special Recognition Award: Birchwood Grange culinary team. Announced by comedian, actor, writer and film producer Dave Spikey – perhaps best known for his stand-up comedy, and starring in the British comedy programme Phoenix Nights.


All winners were announced in a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday 3 December 2020. Hosted by English comedian, actor, writer and film producer Dave Spikey, the star-studded awards ceremony was streamed live via Facebook and YouTube. The event included inspiring talks covering best practice when catering for vegetarians and vegans in a care setting.

Celebs that kindly gave their time to read out nominations and announce winners were Rose Elliot MBE. Peter Egan, Gary Webster and Wendy Turner Webster.

  • Veggie Care Chef of the Year: Grant Burton, Head Chef of The Hawthorns in Braintree
  • Most Innovative Veggie Dish: Gary McGurk, Primrose Bank Care Home in Poulton le Fylde – Pan Seared Watermelon
  • Veggie Wholesaler: Bidfood.
  • The Beulah Charity Trust Special Recognition Award: The Moreton Centre in East Sussex


  • Veggie Care Chef of the Year: Champa Mistry, Birchwood Grange Care Home, Harrow. For her beautiful and colourful traditional dishes that have been passed down through generations.
  • Most Innovative Veggie Dish: Phillip Meyer, Pemberley House care home in Basingstoke. For his vegan creation of a baked lemon tart with chocolate swirls.
  • Veggie Wholesaler: Brakes. For their excellent array of dishes provided to care homes across the country, including burgers, mayonnaise and ice creams.
  • The Beulah Charity Trust Special Recognition Award: Manav Seva Community Services, Leicester. For their ongoing commitment to provide a vegetarian ‘meals on wheels’ service to those who may not be able to leave the house.


  • Veggie Care Chef of the Year: Jacek Binienda, Badgeworth Court Care Centre. For his plant-based cakes which have been described as “exquisite” and training other chefs to cook vegetarian and vegan food for the menu.
  • Most Innovative Veggie Dish: Phil Jay, Head Chef of Gracewell at Sutton Coldfield. For a detailed and delicious vegan dysphagic chocolate cake.
  • Veggie Wholesaler: Bidfood. For the creation of 200+ vegan options, alongside a vegan-specific catalogue and a vegan cookbook.
  • Special Recognition Award: Primrose Dawn Mist, resident at Highland House, Kent. For her commitment to getting more vegetarian and vegan dishes regularly on the menu at her care home, and encouraging the addition of fresh fruit over frozen fruit.


  • General Winner: Hannah Mulholland, Activities Coordinator at Harper Fields Care Home in Coventry. For showing a real enthusiasm and commitment to the needs of vegetarian and vegan residents through events and encouragement of a cruelty-free lifestyle.
  • Runner Up: Phil Hildrew, Head Chef at Bryn Eithin Residential Care in Colwyn Bay


  • General Winner: Annika James, Dining Services Coordinator at Sunrise Senior Living, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton. For providing varied and creative vegetarian meals that considered carefully the nutritional needs and an exciting presentation.

For more information about this year's upcoming awards, please click here.

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