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Coffee creams from Lobster for Josino. Photo: Matt Jewell

A dying wish: Lobster for Josino

What would be your last meal? For Josino, all he wanted was lobster, but that wasn’t to be.

“You know what really annoys me? If I was on death row, I could choose my last meal. Just because I’m sick, I can’t eat what I want.”

Those were some of the last words chef Peter Morgan-Jones heard from his old friend and colleague, Josino. The next day, he was gone.

Part of Josino’s bucket list was to say goodbye to all of his friends and loved ones. During Peter’s visit, Josino’s lunch arrived, and he became visibly dejected. This former chef couldn’t
stomach the hospital food.

This last visit provided Peter’s inspiration for a cookbook that aims to put some love into palliative care via the kitchen.

Lobster for Josino: Fabulous Food for Our Final Days is full of practical, innovative and molecule-bending recipes for those with life-limiting illness or entering their last days.

Old favourites like grilled lamb and salmon niçoise salad appear, as well as the unconventional Guinness air, Christmas pudding mist, and papaya and lime oral spray. And of course, there is the lobster recipe that started the whole thing.

Lobster for Josino Photo: Matt Jewell

An incredible amount of thought and research has gone into the book. For example, each recipe is labelled with key terms – NBM for nil by mouth, SP for smooth pureed, and so on – to let you know who the recipes will be suitable for. There are pages with various contacts for support organisations, food suppliers and helpful kitchen equipment. And the first three chapters are full of helpful ideas and tips from palliative care specialist Professor Rod MacLeod, dietitian Jessica Lynch and speech pathologist Prudence Ellis.

In her foreword, Maggie Beer perhaps sums up this book, and its aims, best: “Peter has challenged the status quo for food for dementia residents in aged care and now he tackles an incredibly complex and emotional subject – food for the latter stages of life.

“Food isn’t just to give us nutrients – I feel it’s involved in the most primal urges to nurture, to show love.”

Nursing Review sat down with Peter to talk more about his cookbook and how it can possibly change aged care meals for the better.

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