Fighting against dementia with ‘Recipes to Remember”

“For those living with dementia, life can be confusing, frustrating and sometimes frightening...yet just the smell of a roast meal can conjure up warm, reassuring memories"

Emily Ace
November 8, 2019

For families across Australia, nothing is more sacred than the bonds forged over preparing age-old recipes together or creating lasting memories over a shared meal. 

Those affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease know only too well how precious these moments are. 

Now the much-loved recipes of 22 celebrities, as well as their personal experiences with dementia, have been immortalised in print as part of Community Vision’s Recipes to Remember charity cookbook.

With contributions from celebrity chef Anna Gare, Australian actor and singer Tim Cambell, Perth Glory star Dino Djulbic, radio personality Carmen Braidwood and Today Tonight reporter Mark Gibson (just to name a few), the book is bursting with amazing entrées, sumptuous roast dishes and dreamy desserts. 

The recipe book, which was launched at The Shoe last week, is part of the “A Roast to Remember” fundraising initiative launched by Community Vision in 2018. 

To date, the campaign has raised enough money to purchase a tailored community dementia bus, which provides desperately needed respite and advice to dementia carers, as well as education and breakthrough therapies in the community. 

All sales of Recipes to Remember will support the 33,000 Western Australians currently living with the condition by keeping the dementia bus on the road and allowing an expansion of services to those in need. 

“For those living with dementia, life can be confusing, frustrating and sometimes frightening,” explained Community Vision CEO Michelle Jenkins.

“Yet just the smell of a roast meal can conjure up warm, reassuring memories. This is where the A Roast to Remember fundraising concept was born.

“With the dream of the community dementia bus now a reality, we’re aiming for more advanced technology within the bus and funds to support the two staff required to service it. 

“Our aim is to visit a minimum of two locations each week covering metro, regional and rural WA.”

The project is close to the hearts of all involved, with Anna Gare reflecting on her mother’s battle with the treacherous condition.  

“My mum, Kate, is in her 12th year of dementia. She says there’s nothing wrong with being demented, you just have to live in the now, and that’s all she can do,” she said. 

“She’s funny and often inappropriate, we laugh a lot and sometimes cry. She’s still essentially Kate, and we will endeavour to look after her at home until the very end.”

Carmen Braidwood said the number of people willing to take part in the project highlighted just how many people are affected by dementia. 

“Every family has somebody who has been taken down by it. The act of cooking together I think is a reason to bring generations together and share that experience of wonderful food,” she said. 

“The recipe book is a great concept and the number of people involved is a real testament to just how much of an impact it has.” 

Her Zesty Lime Slice is a raw, gluten-free dessert inspired by her grandmother Braidwood’s “delicious cake” recipe, with the ‘no bake’ aspect paying homage to her grandmother Gregory - who was not the biggest fan of the culinary arts.

“I’m not really about cooking either - so it is a no bake slice, something she would have loved to have made I think.

"There are some great recipes in there that I can’t wait to try myself - so even a novice cook like me might actually be able to cook these dishes and I am quite excited about that.

“My love goes to the families who are suffering from the effects of dementia, I hope that they get a real kick out of reading these recipes and realising they are not alone.”

Mark Gibson is well-aware of the widespread impact of Alzheimer’s disease, with his grandmother passing away at Christmas time in 2016 after living with cruel condition. 

Now an ambassador for Dementia Australia, Mark feels compelled to help others going through the same hardship.

“It is just something that I am really passionate about - I just really want to help people who are going through what we went through as a family,” he said. 

“It does not just affect the person suffering through dementia, but it takes a toll on everyone around them.”

Mark's Baked Salmon 'Tarator' Style recipe was carefully chosen, as the fish is packed with Omega-3; a fatty acid known to be highly beneficial to the brain and can help in warding off dementia. 

The cookbook is now available for purchase online, whether you are hoping to add it to your own collection, or like Mark, plan on giving it to loved ones as the perfect Christmas gift.

To simply make a donation to the cause, visit

Emily Ace

Hi Guys! I’m Emily; a cheese, pun and quilting enthusiast who spends too much time watching Friends. Thanks for sharing our passion of all things Perth and supporting the amazing local businesses we have all around us. My motto is to see all the things, do all the things and, most importantly, eat all the things.