Peninsula Villages has recently embarked on a fresh approach to dining in aged care by employing a local chef to spearhead its food services team.
Just over five months ago, Peninsula local Paul McGuiness walked away from life as a restaurant owner and chef in a bid to transform the food culture at Peninsula Villages’ residential aged care facilities, with a focus on wholesome and nutritious meals.
“Food is such an integral part of everyone’s life and holds huge social and physical importance. We wanted to revive our meals and menus to ensure that our residents get a sense of enjoyment from the food they eat. This sparked our decision to take on a new approach to our food services by employing an experienced head chef to lead the team,” explained Chief Executive Officer of Peninsula Villages, Shane Neaves.
“Paul has a wealth of experience in the dining industry having owned his own successful restaurant in Umina for almost 14 years,” added Mr Neaves.
Paul’s philosophy of developing rotational menus for residents and offering options for dishes has seen an increased interest in what is on offer at mealtimes at Peninsula Village.
Dishes on the new autumn menu at Peninsula Villages include dinner favourites such as beef ragù, vegetable lasagne, tandoori chicken, risotto or Moroccan lamb, along with a selection of varied breakfast meals, sweets and lunch specials.
“Variety is such an important aspect of food within the aged care sector and our ethos for our menus is based on providing flavoursome and healthy meals that foster the social and enjoyment aspects of dining,” added Mr Neaves.
Paul explains that since starting the role almost six months ago, he has found that it also comes with a number of unique challenges. In particular he admits that encouraging people with dementia or high care needs to eat well and regularly can be difficult.
“The food culture at Peninsula Villages is always innovative and care-centred. Good food can be hugely beneficial for people with health issues, dementia or with other high-care needs so it is important that not only the food is good, but that it is also appealing,” explained Peninsula Villages Chef, Paul McGuiness.
“All menus are prepared and reviewed by our consultant dietitian and meals are adapted for residents changing needs, allergies or requirements. We also have specific dishes that are gluten free, vegetarian or dairy free,” added Paul.
Aside from on-site meal preparation Peninsula Villages also offers eligible locals with a delicious and convenient home meal delivery service.
"To be able to use my food knowledge and love of cooking to improve the quality of life of older people is an amazing opportunity. I am pleased we can also deliver meals to older aged residents living at home within our community – and that they are meals they actually love to eat,” concluded Paul.