Photo: Dr Cherie Hugo and Dr Alison Yaxley and the audience, including Morgan Pankhurst, new graduate dietitian and PhD candidate working in food service satisfaction in aged care.
As part of the Tasting Australia festival, Dr Alison Yaxley from Nutrition and Dietetics at Flinders University was delighted to be invited to sit on an expert panel at the Innovation and Changes Forum Aged Care Hospitality Services, held at Plant 4, Bowden on April 20th. This forum was the brainchild of Ellis Wilkinson, from Hotel Services Management Solutions (HSMS) Pty Ltd, a company that focuses on practical outcomes, specifically, the implementation of catering, cleaning and laundry. Ellis is passionate about improving services in the aged care sector and has been instrumental in getting aged care food service on the radar at Tasting Australia for the past few years.
The forum was open to all comers but many of the attendees were working in aged care as cooks and chefs. They were treated to two cooking demonstrations. The first by Peter Morgan-Jones, Executive Chef and Food Ambassador at HammondCare who brings vast restaurant experience to the aged care sector where he is doing great things, particularly around foods for those living with dementia. The second demonstration was by Vitish Guddoy who is Hotel Service Manager for Uniting Care SA. His work using molecular gastronomy in aged care is multi-award winning. Both chefs are doing amazing things raising the profile of food service in the aged care sector.
Between the cooking demonstrations the panel convened to discuss changes and new directions in aged care food service. Along with Alison, Ellis and Peter, the 6-member panel consisted of dietitian Dr Cherie Hugo from The Lantern Project, a National collaboration designed to bring back the joy of good food in residential aged care, acclaimed chef and advocate for good food in aged care, Simon Bryant, and Luke Westenberg, who is CEO of the Aged Care Industry Association. The panel discussions were lively and varied and showcased the passion of the members which in turn stimulated the passion of the audience. The event was well received and there was a feeling in the room that the tide is turning in terms of food service in this sector.