Former Royal chef shows how to cook for people with dementia

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Peter Morgan-Jones, who has also previously worked in Michelin starred restaurants in Australia and cooked for the Lawn Tennis Association at Wimbledon, led an event organised by the Dementia Centre, HammondCare and hosted by the University of Salford’s Institute for Dementia.

The chef led interactive cookery demonstrations and taught a range of staff from hospitals, care homes and day centres about simple ways of preparing food to tackle issues facing people living with dementia, such as difficulties with swallowing and chewing, malnutrition, difficulty using cutlery and failing to recognise mealtimes.

Morgan-Jones, who has written two books about cooking for people with dementia, said: “Food has always got to be made from good quality ingredients and has got to be made to the needs of the individual. People in the later stages of dementia often have a condition in which they can’t swallow, so they can’t have solid food and tend to eat smooth pureed food which often just looks like slop.
“I bring my chef’s background into effect and show that with a few simple techniques we can turn eating back into a dignified and enjoyable experience. Another issue is that people with dementia may have forgotten how to use cutlery, but again it is possible to make finger foods that are dignified.”

The Dining by Design workshop was held at the Bryan’s Suite in the University’s Allerton Building.

Morgan-Jones, who began his culinary journey as a child in the family kitchen in Wales, now works for Australia-based dementia care provider, HammondCare, applying his restaurant experience to improving food service and mealtimes in their dementia cottages, as well as cooking with residents and staff and learning from sharing meals together.

Professor Anthea Innes, Coles-Medlock Director of the Salford Institute for Dementia, said: “Here in Salford, we work with a wide range of partners to find ways of helping people with dementia lead more complete lives. Food is one of life’s most fundamental pleasures, and Morgan-Jones has shown that, with a bit of imagination, dementia does not have to be a barrier to healthy and enjoyable eating and drinking.”