Delicious dishes on the menu
The old saying that ‘we are what we eat’ is as true in aged care as it is in every other phase of our life.
However, as we age, it can become more and more difficult to get the nutrients we need to sustain and nourish ourselves. Low appetite, difficulties swallowing, medication and digestive disruptions can all impact what and how much we eat.
That’s why it’s so important that the food served in aged care communities looks appetising, tastes delicious and is packed with vital nutrients and minerals.
The need to create enticing food that gets the mouth watering was one of the reasons why Carinity employed Head Chefs in our residential aged care communities a number of years ago.
Chef Gary Duerdan recently joined the team at Carinity Colthup Manor in Ipswich. With a background in five-star hotels, pubs, clubs and cafés, he moved into aged care in 2019.
For Gary, working as a chef in an aged care community is a challenge unlike any he’s experienced.
“Being an aged care chef is not what people think. You need to be very versatile and have a lot of knowledge and different skills compared to, say, a chef who works in pubs.”
Catering for the tastes of nearly 100 residents can be a challenge at times. Through the second half of 2023, Carinity’s hospitality team focused on developing a new menu for our aged care communities.
The team consulted extensively with nutritionists, dieticians, our chefs, and most importantly, residents, to craft the new menu.
Selena Argentati, Carinity’s Regional Catering Manager, says the team sat down with over 400 residents to hear their preferences, requests and the favourite meals that they wanted to see on the menu.
“We spoke with more than half the residents in our communities to hear their feedback on current menu items, what they want to see, what they like and don’t like.”
From the feedback, the team have launched a delicious new menu featuring a wide variety of favourites, with fresh produce, flavour and choice at its heart.
Gary and his team have enjoyed creating the new menu options for Colthup Manor’s residents.
“The menu is well balanced with interesting items. The lamb tagine is very flavourful with different spices and a little sweetness.
“Porcupine meatballs are another interesting one as rice is cooked in the meatballs in flavoured tomato and fresh herb sauce, and the fish sliders are a great modern addition for summer.”
Part of the dining experience is sitting down at the dinner table and engaging in conversation with family and friends.
Dining with family can bring so much joy, which is why residents are always welcome to invite guests to lunch or dinner.
Within each community there’s also a focus on creating a dining atmosphere that makes each meal an occasion.
Residents Rhelma, Noella and Maria love the opportunity to have a chat in the dining room.
“The roast pork is my favourite meal, and the date pudding with custard is delicious,” Rhelma shared.
For Noella, the variety is a highlight, as are the vegetables, that are always “cooked to perfection”.
Ultimately for Gary, it’s seeing the enjoyment on the residents’ faces that brings him satisfaction.
“The residents really appreciate if you put a bit of love and care into your cooking. It’s always worth the effort.”
Take a look at our menus
Take a peek at Carinity’s daily menus. Brimming with variety and plenty of options, there’s something to tempt everyone.