Masterclass inspires chefs

Uniting AgeWell chefs felt the heat in the kitchen when they took part in an inaugural Uniting AgeWell Masterclass competition.

Chefs representing Uniting AgeWell residential communities across Victoria and Tasmania took part in the event at the William Angliss Institute in Melbourne, designed to inspire creativity in catering for aged care clients.

In true Masterchef style, they each chose a “mystery box” of meat then had a full pantry of ingredients with which to create main and dessert dishes.

The pressure was on with just 90 minutes to develop their dishes.

They were judged on criteria including best presented, most creative, cleanest work station, best at meeting the aged care dietary guidelines, and of course best tasting and best presented.

Four guest judges had the enviable task of sampling the dishes in blind tastings: Uniting AgeWell CEO Andrew Kinnersly, General Manager Tasmania Jane Johnston, General Manager Victoria Vicky Jacques, and Independent Living Unit resident Loretta Simmons.

Andrew said the standard of food was outstanding and reflected the enthusiasm of the chefs and Hotel Services team.

“When I get out to the sites and I see what you do all day, every day, and I see the quality of the meals you prepare and the peace of mind you bring to our clients and families, it’s something I’m very proud of, and you should be too,” he said.

Hospitality is so important to Uniting AgeWell and the sustainability of our organisation.  Your enthusiasm is so important.

The overall winner of the Masterclass 2017 was Made Widiana of Manor Lakes in Wyndham Vale, who created a chicken roulade and berrie millie feuille.

Senior Hotel Services Manager Melissa Nicholson said the event was designed to push chefs to think about the food they prepared for Uniting AgeWell clients and how they might be able to do things a little differently.

“Generally education in aged care food services is all about compliance.  While we still undertake this important training, we also like to think outside the box and try to inspire our Chefs by offering them opportunities to be creative,” she said.

These events also allow them to network and share ideas to enhance the dining experience for our valued clients.

Melissa said it was important the dishes met the aged care dietary guidelines, to make the event realistic to the environment in which the chefs work.

“You are all winners here today.  What you have achieved is absolutely amazing,” she told the chefs.

Following the cook-off the chefs had a masterclass put on by food supplier Unilever.

The full list of winners is:

Published: 17 July 2017