Cancer Fund for Children is celebrating that its brand new short break facility Daisy Lodge has become a member of Taste of Ulster.
The facility in Newcastle, Co. Down, which provides free short breaks to up to 500 local families a year affected by cancer, has also just launched its brand new menu with the help of top chef Joery Castel , and Taste of Ulster and Vital Nutrition’s Jane McClenaghan.
Taste of Ulster places an emphasis on fresh, healthy, nutritious food which is locally-sourced. To become a Taste of Ulster member, Daisy Lodge had to meet certain requirements relating to excellence in customer service and overall dining experience. Staff had to also prove their knowledge of local seasonal food and suppliers and ensure local food is on all menus. They also had to display nutritional knowledge about the food being served and explain how Daisy Lodge is a sustainable organisation focussed on reducing its carbon footprint.
Daisy Lodge Hospitality Manager Joan Burden met with Joery and Jane to develop the menu. The combination of Jane’s expert nutritional advice and Joery’s practical knowledge has resulted in a delicious and nutritious selection of meals.
The meals all use fresh locally-sourced ingredients from Northern Ireland producers such as Jilly Dougan who planted an herb garden at Daisy Lodge.
Joan explained why healthy meals are so important for families dealing with the effects of cancer.
“Many of the families have spent months in isolation or on the ward and have been living on hospital food. When they are at home they probably don’t have the time or energy to prepare cooked meals. When families arrive at Daisy Lodge all they have to do is relax and enjoy these delicious and nutritious meals…restoring them for whatever lies ahead.”
Belfast mother, Emma McCrea whose little son Charlie has battled cancer, praised the food at Daisy Lodge: “The food was amazing. It will be especially appreciated by families who have been living on tea and toast or hospital food. It was great not having to clean and cook. ”
The menu boasts such delights as steamed Glenarm organic salmon and homemade meatballs from Slaney Valley Lamb. Other mouth-watering highlights include spicy Thai curry and potato and herb gnocchi bake. The menu will be refreshed every six to eight weeks and Joery will visit Daisy Lodge regularly to provide training for staff.
Sharon Machala, Taste of Ulster Coordinator added,
“We are delighted to have been able to help Joan and the team, in achieving their goal of providing nutritious locally sourced food to the families staying at Daisy Lodge.”
Joan concluded: “We have already received amazing feedback from families about the quality of the meals here at Daisy Lodge. I am so glad Taste of Ulster, Joery and Jane are on-board, they have enthused and energised the team.”