SummitCare Residents Dine in Style

Meal times are always a terrific, tasty opportunity for residents of SummitCare’s nursing homes to come together and enjoy fresh, nutritious food together.

Amit Nagpal is SummitCare’s Executive Chef. He oversees the kitchen operations at SummitCare’s ten residential aged care homes in Sydney and Wallsend, Sydney. As a qualified chef, Amit worked in Sydney’s fine dining scene before moving to aged care 12 years ago.

His philosophy is simple. “We want each of our residents to enjoy wholesome food that is good for their health, is nutritionally balanced to meet their individual dietary needs and is delicious,” he says.

With a total of 900 residents, each requiring breakfast, lunch and dinner, morning tea, afternoon tea and supper every day, that’s thousands of meals that have to be planned, shopped for and prepared by Amit and his staff.

Added to that, families and friends of residents are also welcome to come in and dine for special celebrations and events organised by the homes.

SummitCare homes feature two menus per year. Amit designs menus and meals around seasonal produce, and the nutritional and special requirements of each and every resident.

Sample menus are tested by resident focus groups and a dietician from Food Solutions (aged care diet consultants) then analyses each meal. Residents are consulted about their choices and the team checks in with them regularly to see how they are being received. Amit makes a special effort to sit with residents in SummitCare’s dining rooms to chat with them and observe how and what they like to eat.

Amar Sharma manages Amit and his team as SummitCare’s Corporate General Manager – Accommodation Services, Procurement & Assets Management.

“My role involves working closely with Amit to provide dining experience to our residents which not only appeals to their palates but to their eyes as well. This is achieved in conjunction with the nutritional guidelines from the dietitian.

Resident choices are paramount to us so that they can relate to a meal and really enjoy it,” he says.

Regular celebrations, like Christmas and Chinese New Year, involve themed food selections, and Amit plans for meals around cultural and national favourites such as Italian, Greek and Lebanese cuisines. As an example, during October, residents enjoy a special Oktoberfest selection of typical German fare such as schnitzels, sausages, pretzels and, of course, a glass of beer.

“Each mealtime, we bring a sense of community and belonging as we provide all residents with dining room and meal options that suit their needs, specific tastes, dietary requirements, textures or cultural and religious preferences,” says Amit.

“With an emphasis on fresh, non-processed ingredients and food, we won’t serve sausage rolls and party pies as a meal,” he says. “Maybe for a party or as a snack, but never as a meal.”

Dining with friends is a highlight of the day for many residents and their families. During meal times, residents meet in intimate dining rooms where they are served individually plated meals, all freshly cooked in-house.

“When our residents come together for a meal, we want them to relax, enjoy some nice music and enjoy a meal with a glass of wine with their friends,” says Amit.

“With the aim of providing that wonderful ‘home-cooked’ feel to all our menu options, we look forward to the challenges of wonderfully surprising the most discerning of palates and providing the very best in nutrition for our residents.”

For further information on SummitCare Dining and nutrition at SummitCare, see our Dining at the Summit section for more details.
SummitCare Residents Dine in Style