Fine dining at Merton

If the residents can’t go out to a restaurant, the restaurant comes to the residents.

That is exactly what happened at Merton Court last week after the facility’s general manager Shanie Mitchell raised the challenges facing residents at a recent Business Connect Forum in Muswellbrook.

Shani explained the significant impact covid had had on the residents.

We have had to cease all external outings and minimise visitation – at times it has had to be extremely limited – many facilities stopped everything completely,” Shani said.

“We also had to cease external activity providers and volunteers with the exception of the fellow that adapted his creative engagement program to external window therapy and for many residents he was the only ‘visitor’ that they had and still have.”

Shani said she was a little emotional after she was later approached by Emma Newton from Hollydene and Natasha Cotter from Westpac suggesting a treat for Merton Court residents.

Their suggestion was to deliver a beautiful, three -course, fine dining experience for the 32 residents and it wasn’t long before other businesses jumped on board to support the idea.

Thanks to Chefs of Vines at Hollydene, the residents were served an entre of spinach and ricotta gnocchi with a basil napolitana sauce and flaked parmesan or lamb leg rosemary ravioli with creamy mushroom rosa sauce.

This was followed by the main of slow cooked braised beef cheeks with a garlic mash potato, honey-glazed carrots, sauteed greens and Shiraz juz and dessert of dark chocolate fondant with vanilla bean mascarpone and berry compote or lemon curd tart with Italian meringue Emma Williams from Holydene thanked co-sponsors Westpac Muswellbrook, Melanie’s Jewellers, Muswellbrook Floral Studio, Mangoola Open Cut, Pirtek and Two River Wines.

“It is awesome what can happen when organisations get together and think outside the box,” Emma said.

She also thanked chefs Andrew Le Blanc and Tammy Johns for their enthusiasm in supporting the project.