A top chef paid a visit to residents of a Coastline Housing extra care scheme in Redruth to give them hints on how to cook healthy and nutritious meals.

Sanjay Kumar, head chef at the Headland Hotel in Newquay, has been working with Cornwall Council’s public health department on a trial project about how food is linked to the health and wellbeing of communities.

He said: “Showing how easy it is to cook a healthy and nutritious dish in someone’s home is a great way of starting a conversation with people about food, about how anyone can take ingredients already in their cupboard and turn them into a great meal.

“The majority of today’s modern cooking programmes and recipes are aimed at people in their younger years, perhaps with families to feed. We need to start thinking more about how to encourage older people to cook nutritious meals when, sometimes, they may only be cooking for themselves and may want to keep things quite simple and small.”

While at the Miners Court in Redruth, Sanjay showed the residents that a tasty, healthy meal can be made in less than half an hour in anyone’s kitchen. Everyone came together to enjoy tasting his spinach and lentil soup and share stories about favourite foods and recipes they remembered as children.

Kirsty McLeod, operations manager at Coastline Care, said: “We were delighted to be approached by Sanjay. He has a real energy about good food and is able to really engage people in his projects. On the day, he stimulated not just the residents’ taste buds, but also their memories. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed sharing their own food stories with him.”

Miners Court also has a permanent on-site food service, Deb’s Diner, open to members of the public and residents, which offers homemade nutritious meals for those who have trouble cooking meals for themselves.