Sustainable aged care food services in a nurturing environment

Rockpool Aged Care in Queensland is a family run and owned business. They strive to lead the industry in creating a nurturing environment for residents and staff. Residents live their best life, and staff receive the training and support they need.

Aged care food services with a focus on sustainability

Rockpool’s facility in Morayfield in Morton Bay is 44 km north of Brisbane. The four chefs prepare six meals daily, from breakfast to supper, seven days a week. They have a strong focus on sustainability and source local providers where possible for their 150 residents.

Their kitchen features sustainable appliances. But, their eco-friendly procedures start with food ordering, through to food delivery and minimising food wastage.

“We’re really committed to sustainability from both an operational and energy efficient perspective says Rockpool CEO Melissa Argent.

Rockpool’s energy efficiency touches on all facets of the facility. They’re even building the first five green star-rated aged care facility in Carseldine, Brisbane. But, a major drawcard to the home is their food.

We are really big on food. For us and our residents, that is the best part of their day,” says Melissa.


Hospitality Services Manager, Matthias Larcher, catered private dinners for the likes of Bill Clinton and George Bush before Rockpool. He believes the flavours of the food should speak for themselves. Seasonal, sustainable food is at the heart of his meals, especially in the aged care environment.

But, cooking meals that are of the right texture and complying with a dysphagia diet can be challenging, especially the meal presentation. All leading chefs at Rockpool are educated in cooking for the elderly through Maggie Beer’s Appetite for Life School. For Rockpool, it’s the quality of appliances that truly combine sustainability and quality food.

The iVario is a range of cooking appliances all in one. Boil potatoes, rice or pasta in one section. Meanwhile, panfry meat patties, bacon or steak to perfection in another. The iVario can even sous vide, confit or stir fry. Save space and money by doing all this in one appliance.

It reduces the need for additional stove tops and pots that needs to be cleaned, creating additional emissions,” says Matthias.


However, catering for 150 residents seven days a week wouldn’t be possible without the RATIONAL iCombi oven. Meals can be prepared in advance. So, the production and service periods are separated. This improves efficiency and reduces costs in the kitchen. Time can be spent plating up meals and improving the presentation, particularly of pureed foods.

Cooking with the iCombi saves energy as cooking times are 40 percent quicker. You use up to 18 percent less energy and save 15 percent on raw produce.

They’re very energy and water efficient with a high output in terms of volume. They also have eco-friendly cleaning programs,” says Matthias.

The self cleaning program can run overnight. The cleaning tablets contain 50 percent fewer chemicals and are phosphate-free, which is better for the environment. Cleaning also uses 30 percent less water.


Matthias says, “My advice is to have a consultant at hand that has ties with local vendors such as Comcater. Comcater has great equipment and supports energy efficiency.”

When planning your aged care facility, speak to Comcater about how we can improve the quality and sustainability of your meals.

Call us on 1300 309 262 or fill out the form for more information.

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