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Gordon Manuel holding his Individual Distinction Award. Photo: HESTA

Take off the blinkers on aged care dining: chef

Aged care chef Gordon Manuel always asks himself if he’d be willing to pay good money at a restaurant for the meal he’s serving to a resident. If not, he won’t send it out.

Manuel, who has a background in hotel restaurants and now works for the Mark Moran Group, says his philosophy is to give residents top quality, restaurant- and hotel-style meals.

For his work, Manuel took out the Individual Distinction Award at the 2017 HESTA Aged Care Awards, held in Adelaide.

HESTA said he was recognised for his outstanding work in creating innovative aged care dining and culinary experiences for residents.

At the ceremony, Southern Cross Care (SA & NT) received the Outstanding Organisation Award, while the Team Innovation Award went to the Aged Care Indigenous Induction Program by Crest NT.

A key innovation spearheaded by Manuel that the industry super fund highlighted was the creation of meals that are nutritionally and visually appealing, despite their modification due to dietary requirements.

Manuel said promoting good dining experiences is about looking beyond what is typically expected in the aged care.

“We take the blinkers off the whole notion of aged care being an institution. We challenge things. We found that by doing this, we get innovative things done.”

Aged Care Insite spoke with Manuel about his philosophies on aged care food and dining and asked him to share his best tips for providers.

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3 comments

  1. It’s a wonderful sentiment, but of course care recipients would expect restaurant quality food when they’re paying a $1M+ RAD…

  2. Really? So Manuel would happily fork out his money for puree food in carrot shapes?

    Moran winning an award they haven’t bought is the real innovation here

  3. At the end of the day its providing the kind of food residents like to eat. Maggie Beer, Manuel etc might turn their noses up at party pies and other finger foods but if that’s what the residents like then that’s what you provide. There always has to be balance and choice. More importantly residents need to be assisted by staff if required. I saw a resident at a posh Rose Bay facility once with her face in the plate. Who cares if its restaurant quality if no-one is helping the resident. I guess when places are making millions of dollars they can afford to pay a restaurant quality chef! Would he be just as pleased and turn out such amazing food on the Modern Award.

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