Masterclass enhances aged care food service

October 4, 2018

Aged care provider Uniting AgeWell held a unique Masterchef-style training event for its chefs as part of a food trade show in Hobart on Thursday.

Twenty four chefs took part in the exercise – known as the Uniting AgeWell Masterclass – which saw them compete in teams of four to create a main meal and dessert in just 90 minutes and present it to judges, including three Uniting AgeWell residents.

Uniting AgeWell CEO Andrew Kinnersly said the Masterclass was among a range of initiatives the organisation has introduced to enhance both the quality of food at its aged care residences, and the overall dining experience.

“Unfortunately the quality of food is one of the biggest areas of complaint across the entire aged care sector and we want to change that,” he said.

“Food is so important to everyone. Taste and smell can evoke memories, stimulate happiness and provide comfort.

“Good nutrition also leads to better health outcomes for residents, including reduced risk of falls and fewer hospital admissions.

“This event is a great way to support our chefs to create tasty and nicely presented dishes that adhere to the aged care dietary guidelines, and take what they learned back to their kitchens for the benefit of residents.

“It also allows the broader community to see the importance Uniting AgeWell places on food in our services.”  

Mr Kinnersly said the organisation also held training days with top international and national chefs about how to cook nutritious and tasty meals – including George Calombaris and Mark Baylis – and with food suppliers and manufacturers to keep chefs up-to-date with the best food available.

Uniting AgeWell encourages feedback from residents about their food, which has enabled chefs to integrate suggestions into the menus to satisfy resident choice. 

In addition, Uniting AgeWell’s DineWell program brings the restaurant dining experience to life at our aged care residences, with formally set tables, a choice of meals, the option for residents to eat in their rooms or in dining rooms, and encouraging families to join in.

Mr Kinnersly thanked PFD Foods for hosting the Masterclass at its Tasmanian Trade Show.