Learning to cook late in life can be daunting for some men.
For this reason, a Men’s Carer Cooking Program was set up in 2010 in the Tramshed Community Centre in Narrabeen.
Its aim was to help older men improve their cooking skills while giving them a forum for social interaction.
After re-forming as Forest Men’s Kitchen in 2016, the service is more popular than ever and always encourages new members to join.
Since opening at Forestville, the group now has more than 30 members, a sharp increase from only six members before it reformed.
A second venue was recently opened at the Ted Blackwood Centre in Warriewood providing the same opportunity for men in this area.
Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan recently dropped in to share a meal with several of the members.
“Council provided some initial financial assistance through the Stronger Communities Small Grants Program to help the Kitchen get established in Forestville. It is wonderful to see them expand and provide further opportunities for men on the Northern Beaches to get involved.
“The Kitchen gives older guys more confidence in the kitchen and the opportunity to be part of a group of people who enjoy each other’s company, while preparing a meal.” Mayor Regan said.
With its catch-cry ‘Old Dogs, New Tricks and Great Mates’, the group offers a five week introductory cooking class series for $50 with no prior cooking experience necessary.
The men completing the program are then invited to attend monthly cooking sessions to continue developing their kitchen skills. Most of the members return regularly as they enjoy both the cooking experience and the mateship.
Peter Watson who coordinates the group said men are welcome to join the group on a ‘no skills, no worries’ basis.
“You certainly won’t be judged!
“The Men’s Kitchen has really caught the imagination of older men on the Northern Beaches as being a fantastic avenue to get out of the house and be with other blokes while doing something worthwhile.
“The Men’s Kitchen welcomes new members and cooking instructors to help it grow,” said Peter Watson.
For more information visit the Forest Men’s Kitchen website.