Bringing joy back to eating

Around this time last year, I did an interview with Joyce Timmins, Catering Manager at Marymount Retirement Home in Lucan. In the piece, Joyce spoke of the pride she felt in preparing dishes for people with dysphagia issues. She also talked about the Executive Chef role she previously held in the Rotunda and the video of lunch being served to patients that went viral (a lunch she had cooked). Over the past year, Joyce has continued her duties at Marymount but has also embarked on a new venture – creating her own website to educate people on how easy it is to create healthy yet delicious food for people with issues around dysphagia. “The website has come about for a couple of reasons. Nobody within the HSE was taking me up on any offers for consultation. I also had people getting in contact and asking for advice on food options for family members that were sick or dying. These people were having huge difficulty swallowing food and were forced to have, what were essentially, baby bowls.” One particular person that contacted Joyce was caring for her cousin who had cancer. “This was in a house that was all about food; the kitchen was the heart of the home. No-one was looking forward to Christmas dinner so I offered to create and prepare a couple of dinners.” Joyce’s pureed dishes brought much-needed joy to the family and were followed by further queries from people in similar positions. “The website, called ‘Pure Joy’, will include menus and recipes that can be easily recreated at home. “All of the recipes will include information on calories, allergies, carb and protein amounts. I want to show people that are caring for loved ones at home how easy it is to prepare these dishes, how to plate them up and how to pipe them. You just have to think a little outside the box.” It’ll also serve as a resource to chefs in care settings, says Joyce, who will be providing one-to-one or group training for all care homes, not just aged care.

Joyce expects to launch the website in March. Alongside her new venture, she’s still pushing boundaries at Marymount. “We’ve got a beehive coming to the home soon and I’m about to start a bee course. It’ll be something new for the residents to get involved in, it’s so important to keep pushing them and myself.”

Follow Joyce at