The food service Oscars

A new awards initiative aims to acknowledge and reward quality food service in aged care

By Lillian Radulova

A new awards initiative aims to highlight the importance of food service in aged care. Developed by hospitality consultancy group, OSCAR (Operational Support and Consultancy, Auditing and Recruitment), the inaugural OSCAR Awards for Aged Care and Hospitality 2011 aims to improve and create new standards of food and food service in the growing industry while recognising the contributions of individuals and teams within aged care facilities. 

While this year’s nominations are limited to Victoria, OSCAR Hospitality hopes to extend the awards nationally in the future.

According to an announcement, “at the heart of awards is the concept of ‘a five-star future for Aged Care Hospitality’. […] We believe that drawing attention to the efforts and successes of the hospitality staff will foster and encourage the growth and quality of the food and food service in aged care facilities.â€

Finalists have been notified and the winners in each category will be announced at a gala dinner on 5 August in Melbourne.

A finalist in the ‘facility catering service of the year’ category is the Andrew Kerr Aged Care Complex.  CEO, Eileen Prudden, says she is thrilled to receive the recognition for their efforts in this area.

“Food service plays an enormous role in residents’ well-being,†she said. “And quite often food service doesn’t get the credit it should.â€

Ms Prudden believes the Complex was nominated as a finalist for “going that extra mile for residents.â€

“One of the things we introduced about five years ago is the use of moulds for residents who require vitamised foods, which make the puree look like actual food again. Just in doing that, our residents’ intake of food has improved.â€

Emer Hughes from Samarinda Lodge is a finalist for ‘chef manager of the year’. She says she is looking forward to the awards night which provides a chance to learn about other facilities and to network with other food service people in aged care.  “It’s nice to find out information on how to further improve our residents’ experience and lives,†she said.

When asked what she does differently, Ms Hughes insists it’s a team effort. “It’s all about interaction with the residents. We try to give them what they like, remembering dislikes and likes, and keeping notes.â€Â 

“We’re a smaller facility which allows you to be more intimate with residents. You have the time to talk to them and observe what and how  they eat,†she says.  

“For example, with one of our residents here who has dementia, we noticed she would get confused about all the food in front of her at once and wouldn’t know what to do with it.  So now we break it up and serve the different elements, one thing at a time.â€

Over 30 nominations have been received in these inaugural awards for five of the six categories including:

•         Chef Manager of the Year
•         Chef/Cook of the Year
•         Food Service Assistant of the Year
•         Catering Innovation of the Year
•         Facility Catering Service of the Year

No nominations were received for the additional category of ‘chef apprentice of the year’ which OSCAR Hospitality says highlights a gap in the industry.  In contrast, there was an ‘overwhelming number of nominations’ for Chef Manager of the Year.  For these reasons there will be two Chef Manager of the Year awards made in 2011 

For further information about the awards and prizes, click here.

Tags: aged-care, andrew-kerr-aged-care-complex, chef, chef-manager, facility-catering, food-service, hospitality, oscar-awards-for-aged-care-and-hospitality-2011, oscar-hospitality, samarinda-lodge,

1 thought on “The food service Oscars

  1. Emer has always provided excellence in service to her residents and is a wonderful team leader for her staff.
    A well deserved nomination.

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