Feedback on a plate

Residents at a Palm Lake Care facility are given a say in what they eat.

A Queensland aged care home is empowering its residents to have more control over the food they eat.

Palm Lake Care’s Deception Bay facility – located in the Moreton Bay region of the state, 50km north of Brisbane – allows residents to choose recipes and create menus. They’ve even formed a tasting committee.

“We try a few recipes and get the committee to taste it,” said Chef Amit. The tasting committee gives the residents responsibility and ownership over the menu. And the feedback received can be tasted on the plate. ”There has been a significant improvement in food quality,” said Chef Amit.

The Deception Bay tasting committee has been busy selecting recipes for a new winter menu. Among the inclusions: soups, stews, curries and old-school sweets such as sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce.

“The chef always listens to our feedback and the mild prawn curry is our absolute favourite,” said residents Peter and Romany Shedden.

Marcia McIntosh

For resident Marcia McIntosh a gourmet sandwich is the lunch order of the day. “A fresh sandwich full of smoked salmon, capers, cream cheese and red onion, always lifts my spirits,” she said.

As for dinner: “The braised beef shin can’t be missed – it’s exquisite,” said Ms McIntosh.

Some of the dishes bring back fond childhood memories. “I tried [Chef Amit’s] macaroni and cheese for the first time the other night – I hadn’t had it since I was a child. And wow, it brought back so many special memories,” said Ms McIntosh. “That’s the thing about the food here … it creates such a full sensory experience.”

Cooking has always been a joy for Chef Amit. As a child he would watch his mother cook homely, nourishing dishes for the whole family. What began as a childhood pastime has grown into a rewarding career.

Chef Amit said he includes a very special component in every meal he cooks at Deception Bay. “Love is the secret ingredient, and that is what makes all the difference. If you love it, it will show up on the plate.”

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Tags: food, nutrition, Palm Lake Care,

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