A fresh take on fine dining

A focus on food that’s both nourishing and delicious has put the kitchen at Tarragal Glen on the map.

Pumpkin Soup Low Res RGB

Executive Chef Todd Clarke, who caters for the 70-odd residents living in Tarragal Manor’s care apartments, draws on his restaurant experience to ensure each meal is vibrant, varied and flavoursome.

“I love the way food brings people around a table together. Our goal is to serve meals that are balanced and healthy and bring genuine enjoyment to the people eating them,” he said.

“We always seek fresh, seasonal produce from the local area and we try to minimise waste by making stocks and broths out of our meat bones and using any remaining veggies for the next day’s soup or patties.”

The ever-changing menus offer plenty of variety for residents, who offer suggestions of what they’d like to eat at a bi-monthly meeting.

“We have some set meals–Sunday roast, fish every Friday–but we keep them fresh and interesting by using different flavours and techniques,” Todd said.

“Coming into winter, we’re doing more slow-cooked meats, like pork belly, and tonight we’re serving a seafood paella and braised beef in mushroom sauce.”

Health and nutrition play an important role, too. Each meal meets the dietary recommendations for older Australians and Todd’s team liaise with residents’ doctors to ensure individual needs are met.

“Everything is made from scratch, so we control what goes in. Making sure our residents stay healthy and well is a top priority.”

Acclaimed cook Maggie Beer is an advocate for better food in the retirement and aged care industry, saying, “It should be everyone’s right to have good food and I believe that no one group of people need it more. My hope is that every meal can bring comfort and pleasure, always something to look forward to.”

Based on its growing popularity, the food at Tarragal Glen seems to tick all the boxes.

Independent living residents who would like a night off can now have healthy meals delivered to their doors or enjoy a high-end, à la carte dinner without leaving the village grounds.

“For most residents, the act of cooking has always been a huge part of their daily routine,” Todd said.

“It can be hard to hand that over to someone else, but I hope we’re showing that it can be a positive change that makes a real difference to people’s overall wellbeing.”

For more information about Tarragal Glen, click here

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