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Mr White, who is employed with Banksia Lodge Village in Broulee, will travel to Ms Beer's home in the beautiful Barossa Valley this weekend to participate in her foundation’s pioneering program. The scholarship is especially designed to educate recipients about cooking in the aged-care environment with the aim "to improve the health, happiness and quality of life for every older Australian".
"As a boy I did athletics and I was really interested in nutrition," he said. "I started working at Banksia Lodge Village and I realised I wanted to pursue a career as a chef. I didn't want to leave Banksia so I just asked whether I could do my commercial cookery apprenticeship with them."
Passionate about cooking for people in aged care, Mr White is excited about the scholarship program.
"Just to meet Maggie will be awesome. I'd like to learn more about making things look nice on the plate. I just love older people. They have so many stories and they’re full of knowledge."
Mr White started his training as a first-year apprentice at TAFE NSW Moruya this year.
"I love TAFE," he said. "It's the best day of the week. It's awesome because you cook every session. It’s the best thing for me because I’m a hands-on learner."
Open to only 30 cooks and chefs Australia-wide, the Maggie Beer Scholarship program provides hands-on experience to help troubleshoot the stumbling blocks of cooking in aged-care homes, as well as initiate fresh thinking about nutritious ingredients, budgets, supplier relationships, aged-care specific recipes, menus and dining-room management.
Mr White will be mixing it with the likes of Peter Morgan-Jones, well known to many as HammondCare executive chef. This weekend’s program will discuss texture-modified foods, cooking for those with dementia, and information from specialist aged-care dieticians and food-safety experts.