Michel Bras devotes part of his time to improving the diets of the elderly in residential homes with his “Mixons moins, mangez meilleur” (Less processing, better food) project, which seeks to create meals suitable for the needs of the elderly, where the gastronomic perspective is often lost.
Happiness also comes through good food
Happiness is in the little things and Michel Bras is conscious that food can be one of these. He decided to join the Sodexo research project in the “La Maison d’Annie” residential home with the goal of improving the diet of its residents. The fragility of their teeth when chewing means that meals end up being the mere ingestion of purées with no texture; they don’t even know what they’re eating. With chef Michel Bras working alongside them, the chefs reworked the products, the granule size of the ingredients and the reduction of the destructuring of dishes and recipes to give the food back its flavour and texture.
Redefining a cuisine that is beautiful and “gourmande” and makes you want to chew. For these people, meals are what break up the day. If the food we serve them doesn’t brighten their day, make them dream or evoke the past then their lives are meaningless and they are completely lost. – Michel Bras
The change was seen across the board in the centre, as the pleasure of eating served as a means of stimulation to incite improved chewing, swallowing and posture (raising the chest and head reduces the risk of choking by up to three times) and the staff-resident relationship also improved, with the conclusion that adding a touch of gastronomy to food can take mealtimes from torture to pleasure.