Thursday, July 10, 2014 — Deron Hamel
When it comes to serving meals for long-term care home residents, presentation is almost as important as taste, so kitchen staff must pay keen attention to culinary preparations to ensure meals are appetizing to both the palate and the eye.
Frost Manor cook Kathy Pratt has these areas covered in a dish she created that won top honours for a “best dressed plate” contest at the Lindsay long-term care home. Frost Manor hosted the contest as part of OMNI Health Care’s ongoing Quality Matters initiative.
Pratt’s creation consists of roasted chicken slices lightly covered with a honey-garlic sauce accompanied by roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
Neil MacDonald, Frost Manor’s nutritional care manager, is applauding the ingenuity that Pratt put into her roast chicken.
“There’s great creativity with Kathy’s dish,” he says. “She really took a nice approach to the plate, with the protein (the chicken) fanned out in the middle with the potatoes and the vegetables staggered around the dish, which really emphasized the balance of the plate with a nice focal point of the chicken in the middle with the sauce. There was some nice colour balance.”
MacDonald says Pratt’s chicken dish is indicative of the new wave of food served today in long-term care homes. While kitchen staff must follow the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s nutritional guidelines, OMNI encourages creative, from-scratch cooking in its 18 homes.
“Lately, the focus has been on plating and garnishing, and making the food more presentable,” he says.
On a recent episode of Top Chef Canada, a judge disparagingly remarked that two contestants from the cooking reality show had created dishes that resembled “nursing-home food.”
In response, Chris Weber, OMNI’s operations manager of nutrition and food services, wants to show the world just what “nursing-home food” really is and how chefs and cooks working in the long-term care sector can produce top-quality dishes as good as anyone.
Using the hashtag #NursingHomeFood on social-media networks Twitter and Facebook, Weber and The OMNIway are collaborating in the coming weeks to showcase some of the top-notch food being prepared at OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes.
If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.
If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.