“My day started off early at MercyCare Kelmscott Residential Aged Care Home, where I
met with MercyCare Hospitality Services Coordinator Emily Burns and we did a brief tour of the dining and kitchen before introducing me to the home’s chef, Deepesh Vargheese.
Deepesh ran me through what his normal day involves in the kitchen and showed me all the menu plans for the week, including how he prepares six meals a day, including how he makes everything from scratch.
He also explained how he writes on a kitchen white board all the different types of foods and dietary requirements for the residents.
I was amazed by how organised the kitchen was given all the different equipment he uses during meal preparation.
Deepesh also explained how they plan an ‘Islander Day meal’ meal at least once a month where he cooks a traditional food on that day.
We also spoke about our Broome Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation, where guests come from many communities in the Kimberley and the common meal they enjoy is when I cook kangaroo tail, so we try to include this at least once a week with damper.
Next stop was MercyCare’s Wembley Early Learning Centre, where I met with their lovely cook Mel Webster.
Mel ran me through her usual routine and explained that on the kitchen board she writes special dietary requirements such as peanut allergies and the ‘no egg’ rule.
I was surprised when Mel told me she also cooks kangaroo, which is a popular meat up in the Kimberley, but she uses diced meat which is easier for the children to eat.
She also showed me what bush herbs she uses in her cooking, such as lemon myrtle, which inspired me to look at how I can incorporate these herbs into our meals at Broome.
As a token of appreciation for coming all the way from Broome, Mel gave me a beautiful gift bag with chocolates, herbal tea and a cup.
Through this experience, I’ve taken away a lot of ideas which I hope to implement in our Broome kitchen.
Overall, this has been a valuable learning experience and it was great to get an insight into how other kitchens operate at different MercyCare sites.”