Chef Theo Michaels brings culinary feasts to care homes

Celebrity chef Theo Michaels has delighted residents of a care home in Brough, East Yorkshire, by cooking up a Brazilian themed feast to begin a partnership which will see him on a tour of homes across the country.

Theo, who was resident chef on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch show with Steph McGovern, has teamed up with Danforth Care Homes as a way of introducing him to the world of hospitality within care and create a number of memorable dining experiences for residents.

The first event at Danforth’s Primrose House in Brough had a Brazilian theme.

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Theo, who lives in Hertforshire with his wife and three children, said: "Working with Danforth is an incredibly exciting opportunity to create exciting dining experiences for it’s residents while working with their team of incredible chefs in the world of care hospitality."

Theo Michaels with Primrose House resident Bill WrightTheo Michaels with Primrose House resident Bill Wright
Theo Michaels with Primrose House resident Bill Wright

Primrose House and all Danforth Care residents are older people who are in need of support in both residential and residential dementia care. Care staff enable older people to live fulfilling lives while they maintain their independence as much as possible knowing staff are on hand to give them support and help if they need it.

The home was chosen to be the first that Theo visited because one of its residents Bill Wright took the opportunity to take on the role of Resident Ambassador with a special focus on meals and nutrition. Bill worked closely with the in-house training team to earn his Level One Basic Food Hygiene certificate and now regularly works alongside the head chef to help prepare and plate up other residents' meals.

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During preparation for Theo’s visit Bill was an integral part of the planning, sitting down with general manager Andi Barker and Theo on Teams calls to discuss what cuisine will fit best with other residents' pallets and worked closely alongside all the kitchen staff on the day of the event.

Theo Michaels with residents at Primrose House in BroughTheo Michaels with residents at Primrose House in Brough
Theo Michaels with residents at Primrose House in Brough

And it wasn’t just the food that was Brazilian themed. Brazilian flags were put up all throughout the home and an array of Brazilian themed activities took place after lunch such as a themed quiz and Brazilian dancers coming in to entertain.

Bill said: "Overall it was a great day, and it was nice to meet Theo. The dancers were great too and got everyone involved."

Theo was full of praise for the support he received from Bill and the team at Primrose House. He said: "This was the first of our 'Round the World with Theo' project cooking international themed food and taking each care home on a journey to a new location – besides the food we had Brazilian dancers, cocktails and lots of fun with a fabulous team!"

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Andi Barker, general manager of Primrose House, said: "It's a privilege to bring experiences like today to our residents, Theo and the kitchen team have worked so hard to bring authentic Brazilian cuisine to the home, and our lifestyle team have really gone the extra mile to bring in Brazilian entertainment. Our care staff enable older people to live fulfilling lives while they maintain their independence as much as possible. The abundance of smiles on residents faces proves what a massive success today has been."

Theo, who was a participant on Masterchef in 2014 and a judge in 2022 and 2023, is next to visit Danforth’s care home Rossendale House in Burnley where he will cook another cuisine for all the residents there. He has also appeared on BBC Morning Live and ITV’s This Morning as well as publishing eight cookbooks, two of which won the 2020 Gourmand World Cookbook awards.

Kate Desmond, managing director of Danforth Care Homes, said: "We're thrilled to have Chef Theo Michaels join us at Primrose House to launch our 'Round the World with Theo' series. It's been a delight to see our residents and staff enjoy the authentic Brazilian cuisine he prepared, bringing a taste of adventure and cultural exploration into the home.

"This is a series that will continue monthly visiting all of the care homes within the Danforth group – we currently have 12 homes open nationally, with six more scheduled to open throughout spring and summer.

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"We hope to round off his visits by completing a cookbook scrapbook combo full of recipes of all the dishes he has cooked for us along with photos and memories with all of our residents. This can then be shared with family and friends and also allows our chefs at all the other homes to give residents a taste of all the different dishes other homes enjoyed.”

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