Chef smooths the way for classic dinners to be served at hospice

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A HOSPICE chef is serving up classic British meals to patients unable to eat solid foods after transforming the dinners into smoothies.

Darren Walker, 37, has created the innovative meals in Martini glasses, tumblers, pint pots and tankards to make them more appetising than the drab purées normally given to patients at St Leonard’s Hospice in York.

The father-of-four has developed fish, chips and mushy peas, cottage pie, a roast chicken dinner and a vegetable and butter bean casserole for the vegetarians. His cottage pie is presented in the form of a pint of Guinness – the meat filling forming the base and the top is specially thinned mashed potato, to look like the drink’s famous frothy head.

The smoothies have received favourable reviews after being tested on staff and patients who struggle to eat solid meals.

Mr Walker said: “I just felt that I had to do something. Residents have enough to deal with without having to endure the bland purées that are often served up. What makes these smoothies different is the effort that we put in. All the individual ingredients are cooked before being blended separately and layered on top of each other in a special glass. It gives a range of different textures and tastes.

“I’ve asked members of staff to try my fish, chips and mushy peas smoothie and they instantly knew what it was even at the smell of it.”

The meals are being created with locally sourced produce, including vegetables and herbs from the hospice’s own garden.