Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
St Leonard’s Hospice chef Darren Walker serves up "smoothies" for patients
St Leonard’s Hospice head chef Darren Walker with one of the main meal smoothies he has developed for patients
A FUN and inventive way to help patients who are unable to eat solid foods has been cooked up by the head chef at St Leonard’s Hospice in York.
Until now, residents of the Tadcaster Road hospice who struggled with eating certain foods only had the option of eating purees, which were often bland and looked unappetising.
The problem inspired head chef Darren Walker to come up with a range of attractive “smoothies” which are served hot in a glass and can be drunk or eaten with a spoon. Since he came up with the idea, patients have taken to the new menu with some now able to eat solid foods again.
Darren said one of his most popular new creations was the cottage pie which is presented in the form of a glass of Guinness – the meat filling forms the base and the top is specially thinned mashed potato, to look like the famous frothy head of the drink.
He said: “The patients love our smoothies. Before we introduced them some commented that pureed food looked like baby meals and they didn’t fancy them.
“Now they really tuck in. One patient hardly ate anything, but by taking so well to our hot smoothies he’s now back on solid food.”
Other smoothie favourites include fish and chips, fish pie and a multi-layered vegetarian version that looks like a knickerbocker glory.
Darren said: “We get our vegetables from Sand Hutton, our fish from Whitby – and sometimes I bring produce from my back garden, as well as from the hospice’s own vegetable and herb garden.
“On Yorkshire Day we made a special effort to have a fully Yorkshire menu, and that included our new smoothies.”