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Aged care client takes out top cooking award

Big Bethanie Bake winners (from left) Isabell Neill, Tom Rechichi and Joan Edmonds

The makers of pickles, gnocchi and patty cakes have won top honours at an intergenerational cooking competition hosted by West Australian aged care and retirement living provider Bethanie.

The annual Big Bethanie Bake Off aims to help close the intergenerational gap between seniors and juniors and provide an opportunity for Bethanie’s aged care clients to reminisce and relive the memories that arise while searching for their favourite recipe.

This year’s event involved four senior finalists and four junior categories cooking their favourite family recipe at a live cook-off event in front of a panel of expert judges.

Among those competing for the three awards was Braemar Aged Care CEO Wayne Belcher, who cooked gluten-free crepes.

Isabell Neill (left) with her award-winning pickles and Bethanie’s Natalie Kennington

Coming out on top however as the Big Bethanie Bake off Champion award was Bethanie Kwinana Living Well Centre client Isabell Neill for her cauliflower mustard pickle.

Ms Neill, who surprised staff at the centre with a jar of her home-made pickles earlier this year, said she has made her pickles for everyone in her family since first coming across the recipe in the early 70’s.

It has become a family favourite, said Ms Neill, who added she was always being asked when she was making another batch.

The best senior award went to Joan Edmonds from Bethanie Mount Claremont Living Well Centre for her Mum’s Patty Cakes while Tom Rechichi from St Anthony’s School Greenmount took out the best student award for his Gnocchi.

Bethanie CEO and competition judge Chris How said the event has been running for five years and he is never disappointed sitting on the judging panel.

“It’s wonderful to hear the stories of where each recipe came from and to feel the excitement from the contestants as they get their chance to shine on stage.”

Bethanie’s event took place at the Seniors Recreational Council of WA’s Have a Go Day LiveLighter event in Burswood Park.

It was hosted by West Australian foodie and media personality Verity James. Patrick O’Brien, executive director Hospitality and Trades West Coast Institute and food columnist Margaret Johnson joined Mr How on the judging panel.

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