Training kitchen the next step in thriving food culture

HammondCare continues its world-leading approach to empowering staff through embedding training in the care environment with the opening of a new purpose-built, fresh cook, training kitchen.

Located at HammondCare’s Hammondville site, the kitchen will host classes and workshops on preparing healthy and appetising food for people with a range of different nutritional and dietary needs, including those with dementia and swallowing difficulties.

Peter Welfare, HammondCare’s Head Chef of Southern Sydney region, welcomed the new training and development opportunity.

“These courses will empower HammondCare staff with better cooking techniques and deeper understanding as they prepare meals for the people we care for.

“At HammondCare we have a thriving food culture where meals are cooked fresh in our on-site kitchens, with menus designed by chefs, dieticians and speech pathologists. It’s exciting to be able to extend these skills to our grassroots staff,” said Peter.

A dedicated time and place

The kitchen, while professionally equipped, has a domestic style similar to HammondCare's cottages for people with dementia and this ensures an accessible, hands-on environment where what is learned is easily transferable.

“It can’t be assumed that care staff in our dementia cottages and other kitchen staff always have the opportunity to learn new skills and develop their cooking in the midst of their busy roles!

“So having a dedicated time and learning environment to experiment and further their skills is a wonderful development in the high quality of care we provide. The training kitchen and courses give staff the opportunity to try out new things in a familiar environment.

"We want them to be confident in preparing meals for a range of needs including texture modified foods for people with swallowing difficulties and late stage dementia.”

Training in the kitchen

In the one-day, hands-on workshop, five to 10 staff will learn about nutritional needs and essential ingredients and enhance their skills for creating an engaging and enjoyable mealtime for residents and patients.

HammondCare’s Food Ambassador and Executive Chef, Peter Morgan-Jones, will present the workshops with support from dietitians and speech pathologists. Mr Morgan-Jones said opening the training kitchen was the fulfillment of a long held dream to support staff and HammondCare’s food culture and he thanked all involved in making it a reality.

He said it could also have application for health and hospital staff and he would be looking for creative opportunities for further training opportunities. Cameras at various locations in the kitchen will feed onto TV screens so cooking demonstrations can be seen from all angles.

These workforce development courses are based on the external Dining by Design schools offered by the Hammond College across Australia and internationally. Click here for more details.

Peter Morgan-Jones also trains aged care chefs as part of Maggie Beer's Creating and Appetite for Life classes and will present at Tasting Australia in Adelaide on May 4. His first book Don't give me eggs that bounce is available here.