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Chefs Harry Shen and David Martin from St Vincent’s Care Services, Kew. (SVC Facebook)

When you think of food served in an aged care home, a show-stopping meal of seafood paella and rice pudding with crème brulée probably doesn’t spring to mind. Source: The Age.

But that’s precisely what Australian aged care chefs David Martin and Harry Shen pulled off when they recently competed in the International Salon Culinaire in London, which is considered one of the world’s most prestigious competitions for chefs.

The two chefs, who work at St Vincent’s Care Services Kew in Melbourne’s east, brought home two silver awards after beating competitors from the Hilton hotel, Harrods, the UK House of Commons, the Royal Air Force and French hotel Auberge du Lac.

Mr Martin and Mr Shen received their awards in the mystery grand prix basket and national team chef of the year categories, where they were instructed to make a dish comprising 50 per cent rice and 25 per cent of a food byproduct that would have ended up in the bin.

The duo made a coconut rice pudding with a crème brulée topping, popped rice and compressed pineapple core. They carved the husk into a spoon and bowl, which they served the dessert in.

They also whipped up a seafood paella using fish cheeks, clams and prawns, and seasoned the dish with a powder of finely ground prawn heads.

The chefs said they were acutely aware of the bad reputation that surrounds food in aged care and it was something they wanted to change.


How two chefs from an Australian aged care home beat the world’s best cooks (By Henrietta Cook, The Age)