Kitchen nightmares? Not with David

27 April 2016

A former chef who now works for Porchlight has been helping our Canterbury residents cook up a storm in the kitchen.

David Wilson, who is based at one of our adult hostels, held a healthy cooking session which involved making sweet potato chips, kale crisps, cauliflower couscous, guacamole and other nutritious dishes.

“When people first go into Porchlight accommodation we find that they have often had to prioritise other needs before a healthy diet, said David, who has worked as a chef in various restaurants. “Unfortunately, this can have detrimental effect on their physical and mental health. Others may have once been skilled in the kitchen but have been sleeping rough so long that they’ve lost confidence in their abilities.

“Cooking empowers our residents. They can choose how spicy a dish is, how much seasoning is used and whether their ingredients are roughly or finely chopped. They’re in charge and small decisions like this can act as early steps in rebuilding someone’s confidence or independence.

“Also, when you cook with people they start opening up to you. They’ll begin reminiscing about the food they used to have or something else from their past and we’ll go from there. It’s a good way of getting them to talk about their issues.”

New resident Nathan used to be an enthusiastic cook and was impressed by David’s demonstrations. “I don’t get a chance to get cook because ingredients can be expensive,” he said. “I loved being back in the kitchen and it was nice to learn some new tricks from David. It was also a good chance to get to know some of the other residents a little better.”

The day also involved a smoothie-making class and information sessions about healthy eating. It was one of several activities Porchlight has run in relation to World Health Day.

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