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Banksia Chefs Create Appetite for Life with Maggie Beer

Chefs Jeremy Johnston and Cameron Anderson love producing fresh, nutritious and delicious meals for aged care residents at Banksia Lodge in Broulee.

They get to know the preferences of each resident, along with details of allergies or intolerances, and ensure that each freshly prepared meal not only meets guidelines for nutrition and food safety but looks and tastes great.

Whilst both have many years of experience under their belt, both Jeremy and Cameron are always looking for ways to improve the dining experience for Banksia Lodge residents.

When the opportunity arose to attend a 2-day workshop and masterclass with Maggie Beer and other industry experts, both chefs jumped at the chance to attend.

Recently Jeremy and Cameron travelled to Sydney to attend the Maggie Beer “Creating an Appetite for Life” program, that is geared specifically to chefs working in aged care. The program covered new ideas about how to enhance not just the food served, but the whole dining experience.

Jeremy was looking forward to obtaining some fresh thinking around nutritious ingredients, supplier relationships and dining room management. “It’s always good to learn something new, especially from someone as well-respected as Maggie Beer” he said.

Maggie Beer personally led the masterclass, and Cameron was keen to meet her. “I always enjoyed watching Maggie in the ABC TV Show ‘The Cook and the Chef’, and I know that she is especially passionate about ensuring that food in aged care is nutritious, flavoursome and pleasurable” said Cameron. “I couldn’t wait to learn from a legend.”

Now that they’ve returned from their trip, Cameron and Jeremy are eager to put all they’ve learned into practice.

“The whole program was absolutely amazing” said Jeremy. “I can’t wait to experiment with some of the new methods of food presentation that we learned”.

Cameron was delighted to have learned directly from Maggie Beer, and admitted that his head was buzzing with ideas. “Maggie was not just knowledgeable, she had a powerful persona that convinced me of her genuine passion for great food. She was very down to earth though, and even happy to pose with us for a selfie” said Cameron.

Something that Maggie is sure to approve of is that all food at Banksia Lodge is freshly prepared and cooked on site, as well as our efforts to employ a ‘Garden to Plate’ philosophy. Herbs, fruits and vegetables are grown onsite in the garden at Banksia Lodge for the chefs to incorporate into meals.

Residents assist with watering and weeding, where possible, ensuring a truly collaborative approach, for optimum nutrition and flavour in the dining room.

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