Reconnecting with the Pleasures of Food

The team at Bramley Court showcase their entry for the Making a Difference Challenge to the judging panel

Bramley Court Care Home showcased their Residents’ Market and Themed Food Day to a panel of judges. This was in response to a competition launched by celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott who challenged homes to come up with new, creative and innovative dining experiences for residents that can be sustained in the years ahead.

If the home’s concept is shortlisted, Ainsley will visit the home on October 20th to present them with a top of the range Weber gas barbeque for everyone at the home to enjoy next summer.

Bramley Court’s entry is focused on reconnecting residents with the pleasures of food. It comprises of two separate parts; a fortnightly resident’s market where residents can ‘shop’ for their own food and a monthly themed food day where residents are encouraged to cook their own food from raw ingredients to finished product.

The judging panel (constituting of the group Directors) viewed the market and were treated to a seaside themed supper – with fish and chips served in paper cones and ice cream and drinks made by some of the resident’s, as well as freshly cooked doughnuts.

Home manager Juliette Oates said: “Our idea is all about reconnecting our residents with the joys of eating to ensure they don’t lose that pleasurable connection with food – and continue to be involved in all aspects. And, as we know from canvassing the residents, food is about socialising. So we are using evocative props and entertainment at our themed meals to deliver the full ‘wrap around’ experience to help stimulate conversation and enjoyment”.

Members of the local community have stepped forward to help supply the fortnightly market including Hawthorn Farm, Cottenham who is supplying homemade jams in individual sized pots, Les Ward supplying fruit and vegetables and Barker’s Bakery supplying bakery goods.

The themed food days have been running since August. One resident, Jo Slipek (aged 69), who is enjoying cooking again says: “I love cooking. I’ve always loved cooking – making something from raw ingredients and the wonderful smells as it starts to cook.”

Juliette Oates adds: “Since we have been running the themed meals we have seen many of our residents who would only eat one cooked meal a day, happily tucking in to a second hot meal where before they might only have had a small sandwich or a yoghurt. This is exactly the effect we are trying to achieve – as good nutrition and maintaining calorie levels is such an important part of good care.”

Judge Nicola Coveney said: “The home was asked to come up with something that was involving for the residents and would have a permanent impact on their day to day lives as well as looking to involve the local community. We think they have done a fantastic job”.

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