The inaugural Senior Lifestyle Cuisine cooking competition showcased the culinary skills of 16 chef competitors who currently work in the aged care sector.
Event Organiser Pip Duncan said competitors had just 75 minutes to prepare and serve six covers of a main dish.
“Three portions also had to be served in a soft minced format which is an important requirement in aged care facilities, due to swallowing difficulties encountered by many seniors.”
Judges assessed the dishes against a set criteria including: presentation of food; taste and texture; control of cooking process; professional practice and preparation.
The overall winner was Rodney Phillips of Elderslea Rest Home in Upper Hutt, Oceania Healthcare.
Second place getter was Deborah Dillon of Atawhai Lifestyle Taradale, Oceania Healthcare, while Avril Grant from Charles Fleming, Ryman Healthcare in Waikanae secured third place at the event.
Pip said the focus on nutrition for seniors would only continue to grow, given New Zealand’s aging population.
“Government statisticians are projecting an increase in those aged 65 years and over to reach the 1 million mark in the late 2020s at which point this group will outnumber children.1
“Events like this will help to inject innovation and fresh thinking into aged care nutrition. This is an exciting field with fresh frontiers to be explored, in terms of dietary factors and solutions for this age group and an expected upsurge in job opportunities in this field.”
Sponsors of the Senior Lifestyle Cuisine event included Nestlé Professional, Bidvest, vegetables.co.nz and Choice Catering Equipment.