World-first cookbook injects life into food for the dying

A newly published 'world-first' cookbook for people with life limiting illness or facing the end of life was inspired by a chef's dying request for lobster as his 'last meal'.

'Food is the vehicle for expressing our love for one another. Lobster for Josino is the road to giving our loved ones the bon voyage they deserve.' - Sean Connolly.

Lobster for Josino: Fabulous food for our final days features pages of practical tips and more than 100 innovative recipes (including molecular gastronomy) that promote beautiful food and personal choice for people who may have only months, weeks or days to live.


Lobster for Josino is now available on the HammondCare shop. 

Endorsed by Australian food-icon Maggie Beer, who writes the foreword, and celebrity chef Sean Connolly, Lobster for Josino was a very personal project for author and chef Peter Morgan-Jones.

“I worked with Josino at the Sydney Opera House and some years later his wife contacted me to say he was dying, and had asked to see me and another former colleague,” Peter said.

“During our visit at a Sydney hospital, Josino's lunch arrived and his shoulders dropped as he lifted the plastic lid. He told me he couldn't eat it and wished he could choose his own meals.

“I asked him what he wanted and he gave me a cheeky grin and said, 'Lobster Peter.'

“I went to the Sydney Fish Markets and sourced a lobster but hospital staff would not agree to me preparing him a lobster meal. I returned a couple of days later and Josino was unconscious and sadly, never recovered, and never got his lobster.”

Peter describes this as a watershed moment in his illustrious restaurant career and in part inspired him to redirect his work towards revolutionising the approach to food for vulnerable people such as those living with dementia and, now, those who are in palliative care.

Maggie Beer, who was influential in helping Peter transition to the health and aged care sector, says: “I have loved all of Peter's work. He 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 last stages of life.

“Food should always give pleasure and comfort no matter the stage of life. And in my view, this is never more important than when someone is nearing the end of their life.”

Lobster for Josino is being launched by the CEO of Palliative Care Australia, Liz Callaghan, during Palliative Care Week (May 20-26) and will be available through all good booksellers and at crackingrecipes.com.

About the authors:

Peter Morgan-Jones is Food Ambassador and Executive Chef for HammondCare and the Dementia Centre. For more than five years, he has helped inspire and maintain a rich and vibrant food culture, not only within HammondCare, but broadly across the aged care and health sectors. This includes partnering extensively with the Maggie Beer Foundation and speaking at numerous conferences, seminars and events. Peter enjoyed a long and successful global career as a restaurant chef and since coming to the not-for-profit sector has authored two previous books, Don't give me eggs that bounce: 118 cracking recipes for people with Alzheimer's and It's all about the food not the fork! 101 easy to eat meals in a mouthful.

Rod MacLeod is Palliative Medicine Specialist at Hibiscus Hospice, Auckland and consultant to HammondCare in Sydney. In 2003 he was appointed the inaugural South Link Health Professor in Palliative Care at the University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine and prior to working in Sydney he was and is still, Honorary Professor in the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care at the University of Auckland. In 2012 he was appointed Conjoint Professor in Palliative Care at the Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney. He has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles in the area of palliative care in national and international journals and has written more than 20 book chapters for palliative care texts. He is one of the authors of The Palliative Care Handbook which has become a freely available standard text for health care professionals in New Zealand and more recently NSW. He was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's birthday honours in 2015.

Prudence Ellis is a Senior Speech Pathologist within HammondCare and has co-authored several books, including previous cookbooks Don't give me eggs that bounce and It's all about the food not the fork!, most recently contributed a chapter to the Textbook of Palliative Care edited by Roderick MacLeod and Lieve van den Block for Springer (2018). Prue holds a Bachelor of Science- Psychology, and a Master of Speech Language Pathology (Honours). She works with adults in aged care, palliative care, rehabilitation and cancer rehabilitation, and her work has been presented nationally. Prue embraces the comfort that food can bring to people in times of health change. She is passionate about ensuring equal access to quality food for people with swallowing difficulties.

Jessica Lynch is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who has been working in rehabilitation, cancer rehabilitation and palliative care at Greenwich Hospital for the past 13 years. Her major interests are cancer rehabilitation and the practical aspects of tailoring and applying good nutrition in daily life. She is committed to helping patients and carers take the stress out of eating well and enjoy food as best they can.

For review copies, photos, extracts, recipes or to arrange an interview with any of the authors, please contact Peter Hallett (HammondCare Media) on 0418532585 or email phallett@hammond.com.au.

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