Rest Home Chef Spices Up Competition
08 August 2017
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Palm Grove Chef Andrew Jelley in action at the 2017 Senior Lifestyle Cuisine Competition
Pegasus Post, Christchurch
Chef Andrew Jelley may be new to aged care cuisine but a week ago he competed with the country’s best in Auckland. The Palm Grove Rest Home in Shirley Chef competed in the Senior Lifestyle Cuisine, a national culinary competition which highlights the trend towards innovative cuisine at aged care facilities. Set within the NZ Chefs National Salon 2017, the Senior Lifestyle Cuisine cooking competition showcases the culinary skills of 10 chef competitors from around New Zealand and dispels the image of rest home food as bland or unappealing.
Mr Jelley arrived at Palm Grove Rest Home in Shirley late last year after stints at Savoire Café in Merivale, Bully Hayes in Akaroa and Bloody Mary’s at Rydges Hotel in Christchurch. While working in aged care may not seem like a traditional career path for a chef, it suits him. “Working late nights takes its toll after a while. I wanted more normal hours and I’ve enjoyed getting to know the residents.”
During the live kitchen cookoff, Mr Jelley had just 75 minutes to prepare and serve four covers of a main dish intended for the aged care market. Two portions of the dishes must be served in a easy to eat format. A team of top industry judges assessed the competitors and their dishes against a range of criteria including: presentation of food, taste and texture, control of cooking process, professional practice and preparation.
Among this year’s panel of judges were some of the country’s top hospitality industry talents including Executive Chef, Wharekauhau Lodge, Marc Soper and Copthorne Oriental Bay Executive Chef Chetan Pangam.
Mr Jelley found the competition “pretty intense” but said he’d be up for it again next year. “I learned a lot this time around and I’d been keen to give it another go next year,” he said.
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