Food for the Soul Cookbook Design Unveiled

We are delighted to unveil the cover of Food for the Soul – our cookbook written for us by chef Gary O’Hanlon. Gary is head chef at multi-award winning VM Restaurant at Viewmount House in Longford and is also a regular on our TV screens.

FFTS-Front-Cover-LR This is Gary’s first published cookbook and we are delighted to partner with him on this publication. Food for the Soul could be described as ‘food for the soul, stories from the heart’ as Gary has a personal back-story for each recipe.

Gary says, “We have four sections in the cookbook – Starters, Snack, Mains and Desserts. We also have a ‘How-to-Guide’ for the more difficult recipes. I am really excited to partner with Bluebird Care on this project. They are a company that spend lots of time, energy and investment on projects to benefit other people and other organisations. I am pleased that my very first cookbook is one that is going to raise money for Active Retirement Associations across Ireland.”

Not only has Bluebird Care produced this cookbook for sale nationwide they have also commissioned a series of complementary online videos showing Gary cook each dish.

Operations Director with Eddie O’Toole says, “We have long-held the view that good home cooking is very important to our customers who live in their own homes. We are in the homes of thousands of people every day right across Ireland and we understand the importance of a healthy and balanced diet. We asked Gary to write the cookbook for us and to devise recipes that had home-cooking at the heart of them. There are dishes for everyone – the beginner, intermediate or advanced home-cook.”

Bluebird Care is making a donation from each cookbook sale to Active Retirement Ireland.

Food for the Soul will be launched at A Taste of Donegal Food Festival on Saturday 23rd August at 11.30am at a special launch price of just €10.

The cookbooks will be available for sale following launch from every Bluebird Care office nationwide or from the Bluebird Care website.

Bluebird Care Partner with Active Retirement Ireland to Promote Healthy Eating

Chefs, restaurateurs and food bloggers are among those backing the nation’s largest community based older people’s charity in their efforts to get older people to think about their diets. Active Retirement Ireland (ARI), a national network of over 570 local older people’s clubs comprising more than 24,500 members, have today (19/06/14) launched a campaign to encourage older people to cook for themselves and to eat balanced meals.

Pictured at the launch of Active Retirement Ireland's ‪#‎EatHealthy‬ campaign are Michael Maher, Newcastle Rams Active Retirement; Gary O'Hanlon, TV chef and head chef of VM at Viewmount House, Georgina Campbell Restaurant of the Year 2014; Dave Bruton of Bluebird Care; Garrett Fitzgerald, head chef at Brother Hubbard and competition judge; and Maureen Kavanagh, CEO. Photo by Conor O'Mearain

Pictured at the launch of Active Retirement Ireland’s ‪#‎EatHealthy‬ campaign are Michael Maher, Newcastle Rams Active Retirement; Gary O’Hanlon, TV chef and head chef of VM at Viewmount House, Georgina Campbell Restaurant of the Year 2014; Dave Bruton of Bluebird Care; Garrett Fitzgerald, head chef at Brother Hubbard and competition judge; and Maureen Kavanagh, CEO. Photo by Conor O’Mearain

Backed by Bluebird Care, the campaign is fronted by TV chef Gary O’Hanlon, who won the Georgina Campbell Restaurant of the Year award for 2014, and is supported by Garrett Fitzgerald of Brother Hubbard café in Dublin and food blogger Nollaig Bourke of Fascination Food.

Peter Kavanagh of ARI said, “Working with Healthy Ireland and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine over the last few years, we have seen that for many older people, old age can be a time when they pay less attention to what they’re eating.”

The problem can be made worse, said Kavanagh, by personal history. “Many older people would have grown up eating balanced diets without even realising it. Now, in an age when processed food is so readily available, many older people are taking the easy option and their diets are suffering.”

According to the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, three-quarters of Irish older people are overweight or obese. This is a statistic that worries ARI. “With so many older people overweight or obese, it’s incredibly important that we encourage older people to cook healthy and nutritious meals for themselves,” said Kavanagh, “Above all, we want people to enjoy their food.”

Recipe Competition for ARI Members


Filming Starts for Food for the Soul

Filming has begun for Food for the Soul. As you know we launch our new cookbook this summer which will also have a suite of online videos so you can actually see chef Gary O’Hanlon demonstrate them for you.

Food for the Soul will be shot in Gary’s own custom-designed kitchen in conjunction with Crooked Line Films.

What’s also exciting is that we will film a separate set of recipes which do not feature in the book.

“Gary O’Hanlon says, “Food for the Soul embraces all that is good about cooking. Each recipe has its own back-story which will inspire you to cook it. There are three levels of difficulty so there is definitely something for everyone. We want people to go back to cooking great food at home and food that is not to challenging.”

Recipes have been categorised into the following levels of difficulty:

  • Hungry & In a Hurry (easy peasy)
  • Time to Impress (with a little extra time you can cook this)
  • Worth the Effort (follow Gary’s How To Guide and watch the video and you can cook this perfectly)

View more photos here on our Facebook Page


Cookery Demonstration at Active Retirement Ireland Trade & Tourism Show

Food for the Soul Cookery Demonstration

Chef Gary O’Hanlon will cook recipes from our forthcoming cookbook Food for the soul at Active Retirement Ireland’s Trade and Tourism Show which takes place in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway.

Bluebird Care is partnering with Active Retirement Ireland on a number of events this year. Active Retirement Ireland has 24,500 members in 550 Active Retirement Associations across Ireland.

Be sure to call into the Trade & Tourism Show on Tuesday 8th April in the Radisson Blu Hotel.