Cook Maggie Beer, who was named Senior Australian of the Year in 2010.
Cook Maggie Beer, who was named Senior Australian of the Year in 2010. Photo: David Solm

Janne Apelgren

Prominent cook Maggie Beer will campaign to increase the quality of food available to elderly Australians, especially those in nursing homes.

Beer told an Australia Day lunch in Melbourne she hoped her campaign would do for older Australians what Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Foundation, which teaches school children about food, had done for young people. Everyone deserved access to good food, regardless of their age or situation, she told the audience.

The Barossa Valley-based Beer, 69, said she hoped to be able to reveal more about the campaign in a couple of months, but that being named Senior Australian of the Year in 2010 had partly inspired her interest in how well older Australians ate.

Beer features in the Australian legends of cooking stamps which had their Melbourne launch last week. She joked: "I'm going to send so many overseas letters you wouldn't believe it." The other cooks featured are Stephanie Alexander, Margaret Fulton, Neil Perry and Kylie Kwong.