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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 he shared with old friend and colleague, chef Peter Morgan-Jones. The next day, Josino was gone.

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

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

Lobster for Josino: Fabulous food for our final days is a “world first” 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 nicoise salad appear, as well as the unconventional Guinness air, Christmas pudding mist or papaya and lime oral spray. And of course, there is the lobster recipe that started the project.

An incredible amount of thought and research has gone into the book. For example, each recipe is labelled with a key of terms that lets you know who the recipes will be suitable for. “NBM” being nil by mouth; “SP” being smooth pureed, and so on.

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, dietician 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.”

Aged Care Insite sat down with Peter to talk more about this cookbook and his friend Josino.

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