The sister of a chef who has been creating amazing dishes at a Perthshire care home was so proud of her brother’s work she published images online. And people loved what they saw sharing the pictures thousands of times.
The dishes look like something out of a fine dining restaurant – but they’re being served to care home residents in Perthshire. And now the photos have gone viral, with more than 20,000 social media shares worldwide.
The talent behind them is Kevin Nairn, head chef at Balhousie Stormont Lodge care home in Blairgowrie, part of Balhousie Care Group.
And he has his sister Yvonne McDonald to thank for the worldwide focus on the culinary creations he whips up daily for residents.
Yvonne sent photos of Kevin’s dishes – including venison, crème brulee, aubergine fritters, brie and red onion Yorkshire puds (above) and apple charlotte – to the popular website bored panda. The website sang Kevin’s praises for his imaginative recipes, as well as the fact that, following Balhousie Care Group policy, he tries them out with residents first.
Thousands of readers joined in, leaving gushing comments and sharing the story via Facebook – at the last count, 23,000 times. A further feature on the Daily Mail website has boosted the story even further.
Said the website: “Chef Kevin works in a care home in Perthshire, Scotland, and the residents of the establishment absolutely love him. No wonder. Not only does he make dishes that look like something straight out of a Michelin-starred restaurant, but he also involves the residents in developing the menu.”
New menu items are sampled and scored by residents at Balhousie Care Group’s 26 care facilities across the north and east of Scotland. Many of the dishes are designed for people with swallowing issues such as dysphagia, which is common among people with dementia.
Yvonne told bored panda: “I am extremely proud of my big brother and we are always discussing food and recipes. When he shared these photos with me, I just thought, ‘Wow, I need other people to see what he does’.
“During this strange time of the COVID-19 lockdown, care homes have had it tough and I just wanted people to see the happiness my brother brings to the residents.”
My sister really surprised me with this! It’s lovely to see my work being shared worldwide, although it really is all in a day’s work here at Balhousie Stormont.
Kevin began his career in catering in 1995 in a hotel. He first worked in a care home kitchen in 2005 while on a working visa in New Zealand. He joined the 30-room Balhousie Stormont Lodge in 2018.
He said: “My sister really surprised me with this! It’s lovely to see my work being shared worldwide, although it really is all in a day’s work here at Balhousie Stormont. The chefs throughout the group work hard to bust the myths surrounding care home food. Our residents deserve the best, and to be part of the menu process.”