At Compass Group, we take pride in providing the best food and services to companies and communities throughout Australia. But it’s ‘how’ and ‘why’ we do what we do that sets us apart, as Lindsey O’Grady, Unit Manager at Springwood Village Aged Care will share.
In December 2022, Lindsey won the inaugural Texture Modified Food Award at the Institute of Hospitality in Healthcare (IHHC) Awards and was recognised for his creations of a pureed BBQ Meat Lovers pizza and ‘A Night at the Movies’ – a combination of pureed Jaffas and Maltesers and more.
Sharing the importance of creating texture modified food, Lindsay believes people of all ages can suffer from dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), however it’s particularly prevalent in hospitals and senior living, which is where Lindsey’s passions lie.
“When people have problems with swallowing, chewing or controlling food within their mouth, they run the risk of choking or aspiration (food or fluid going into the airway). Texture modification is when food is cooked soft, cut, mashed or pureed to make it safer to eat and I’m passionate about still making this pureed food flavoursome, appetising and enjoyable for those consuming it.”
Improving the quality of life for residents and their enjoyment of food, Lindsey personally meets residents for ‘Chef Consultations’, finding out their challenges and what they’d love to eat, then sets about trialling recipes and appropriate methods to give people the meals that they’re missing, as a result of suffering with dysphagia or difficulty chewing. “We had a resident in palliative care who was on the highest level of a dysphagia diet (meaning all foods had to be pureed) but a BBQ Meat Lovers pizza was all she felt like. After some experimentation, I created a pizza with a puree garlic butter base, sausage, ham hickory BBQ sauce and liquid cheese. She absolutely loved it,” Lindsey shares. “With ‘A Night at the Movies’, I wanted the dish to give residents a nostalgic experience, so I created a meal of pureed Maltesers, Jaffas, popcorn gel and a ‘Caramilk’ ganache. We now use it at movie events in-house.”
Putting his skills and recipes to the test, Lindsey entered the IHHC competition.. “There were strict guidelines on the powders and ingredients we could use and we then had the dishes certified by a dietitian and a speech pathologist to ensure they were up to standards,” he shares.
“I would like to thank my team at Springwood, dietician Meghan Fields, speech pathologist Corrine Loomes, and our Morrison Living team as I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this award without their guidance, knowledge, training and support.”
Passionate about enhancing the experience of food and focused on innovative methods, our Senior Living Chefs, like Lindsey, go above and beyond with not only incredible culinary skills but care and compassion. Well done, Lindsey.