His award-winning meals have been served in some of New Zealand's best-loved restaurants - and now celebrity chef Simon Gault is embarking on a mission to reinvent retirement village food.

Gault is working with kitchen teams at Metlifecare retirement villages around the country, to serve up signature dishes bearing his name and improve the overall food experience for elderly residents.

The former MasterChef NZ judge will introduce his unique take on popular classic dishes incorporating fresh ingredients and seasonal produce.

"Funnily enough, as a schoolboy my first job was at a retirement village so it's quite rewarding to come full circle and now work with Metlifecare staff to freshen the dining experience for residents across the villages," Gault told the Herald on Sunday.


First up on the menu is 'Simon Gault's Caesar Salad' with more dishes to be announced over the next couple of months including a classic lasagne.

"I love lasagne and I think a lot of people do. I'm seeking to do a fantastic lasagne," which in Gault's books means "it's gotta taste delicious and have the magic."

Metlifecare decided to enhance its dining options in response to resident feedback, he said.

"I'm always keen to make a difference to someone's food if I can. It's exciting they want to up the game with their food," Gault said.

"I want to give them that little bit of magic."

The partnership with Gault also acknowledges how important dining is in bringing family together.

"Grandkids want to go [to rest homes] because they have pools and there are things to do. It's a real family thing. So a lot of my meals will be good family meals for them to enjoy."

A lot of the meals are inspired by Gault's own mother "who is a very good cook but I'm putting my twist on them."

Gault, who suffers from Type 2 diabetes, is committed to helping Kiwis eat healthier.

He attended a holistic treatment centre in the UK in 2014 after being advised by specialists to lose weight.

"The healthier we can be, the longer we will be around," Gault said.

Metlifecare chief executive Glen Sowry said residents would be thrilled to sample creations from one of New Zealand's best-loved chefs.

"We feel privileged to have Simon Gault influence change in our village dining rooms. Our highly committed teams are excited to be working with Simon and together take the experience to the next level for residents, staff and their families," said Sowry.

Other village initiatives involving Gault, including new recipes and products the residents can enjoy, are set to be introduced over the next couple of months.

Metlifecare's top 5 tips to eating well at any age:
Share more: Enjoy food with family and friends - it always tastes better.
Celebrate more: Treats are important - moderation is key.
Learn more: Seasonal, fresh produce is best - understand where your food comes from and try to eat what's in season.
Taste more: Try something new - you might be pleasantly surprised by unfamiliar tastes
Enjoy more: Eat well, live well and make sure you enjoy every bite you take