“What drives me every day is the families and seeing the children and parents eat and enjoy their meals,” shares Geraldine Bailey. “It’s an amazing experience to be able to make a difference in their lives through a simple plate of food and a kind conversation. I feel so lucky to do this.
With a 40-year career in hospitality, Chef Manager Geraldine Bailey started her journey with Compass Group Australia over 18 years ago and currently leads the kitchen at speciality hospital Queen Elizabeth Centre (QEC), part of our Morrison Living portfolio.
Victoria’s largest provider of early parenting services, QEC is a speciality hospital which helps young children (0 – 4 years) and their families to flourish. Geraldine and her team provide tasty, nutritious, simple meals that both children and parents enjoy, making QEC a home away from home.
“We’re passionate about making the children nutritious, homecooked meals while they’re at the hospital, however we also teach the parents how to continue to cook these simple recipes at home,” shares Geraldine. “Parents don’t think they have the time or don’t know how easy it is, so we’ve implemented a recipe holder in the residential dining room, so parents can learn how to cook it at home, plus learn how to adapt it to their children’s allergies.”
With many of Geraldine’s recipes sustainable and zero-waste, they’re cost-effective for families and offer a great alternative that might not be obvious to parents. “The babies go crazy for steamed broccoli stems! All I do is cut up the stem of the broccoli, something that is usually thrown out, steam it and they love them. A very sustainable recipe that also ensures we are reducing waste and using all parts of the vegetable.”
Geraldine’s pride in her work is evident, and this is seen in all aspects of her work at QEC and the impact she has on every family.
“One time, we had a 10-month-old baby that was allergic to all proteins. So that means all meat, eggs, legumes. Everything had to be weighed. I managed to create a very special pasta that he enjoyed but the mum said the most difficult thing was snacks, given all the allowances. I created tiny rissoles, put it in a ziplock bag and gave the mum the recipe, with the exact measurements and ingredients. She was overjoyed. Moments like this is what I’m most proud of.”
Thank you, Geraldine, for helping us serve a better future for the families of Victoria and beyond.
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