The introduction of a selection of menu items at residential aged care facilities operated by Australian aged care provider, Aurrum, aims to minimise the need for food supplements and give residents a feeling of ‘warmth and familiarity’.

Aurrum introduced some exciting food innovations to the Australian aged care sector with the introduction of television personality, Karen Martini, as its Food Ambassador last December.

Ms Martini is best known for her television role judge on Channel Seven’s My Kitchen Rules.

Earlier this month, Aurrum hosted Ms Martini at its Aurrum Brunswick facility in Victoria where she conducted the first of her Masterclasses with Aurrum’s head chef and kitchen team to train them on the preparation of a selection of menu items planned to be served across all Aurrum facilities.

These included a Winter Minestrone; Chicken Leek and Mushroom Pie; Rigatoni Bolognaise with Peas and Basil, Orechhiette with tuna, spinach, mascarpone and lemon; Greek lamb shoulder with yoghurt, cucumber and mint with pita; and a Free-form apple and blueberry tart.

“These are some of my favourite homecooked dishes that I hope residents will really enjoy and give them a true feeling of warmth and familiarity,” Ms Martini says.

“For example, my Tuna Orechhiette is inspired by the classic tuna bake, and my lamb shoulder dish is cooked so that the meat falls off the bone and wrapped in my homemade pita bread with yoghurt and cucumber provides a hands-on convivial dish that our residents can share together or with their family for special celebration events,” she says.

According to David Di Pilla, Aurrum chairman, it was identified by the provider early on that food was critical to residents’ satisfaction and enjoyment.

“By ensuring that our residents are provided high quality nutritious meal options that they look forward to eating, we more naturally manage weight loss and minimise the need for food supplements,” Mr Di Pilla says.

In attendance at the event were a number of industry participants who were invited to provide feedback on the sample menu items.