No-one makes pasta like grandma does. With a no-nonse approach to cooking, she horrors by the idea of using a book or blog to prepare a meal. The best skills, as she would argue, are her experience and wisdom. And, as in most cases, ‘nanna’ appears to be right: her dishes are always spot on, and it’s always a treat to have dinner at her house.
This undeniable fact motivated a group of students from Hogeschool Rotterdam to come up with the idea for a restaurant that actually serves grandma’s culinary delights. Oma’s Pop-Up is a pop-up restaurant in Rotterdam where lonesome seniors are preparing typical traditional Dutch dishes for guests. As aging and isolation affects many elderly in cities across the Netherlands, these seniors are rarely among other people, and often cook for themselves only. Oma’s Pop-Up offers them a day full of fun and sociability. The elderly will be provided with a workshop by a professional chef cook, and by the end of the day will prepare meals for a restaurant fully packed with hungry guests.
Besides offering the elderly a fun day, full of physical and social activity, Oma’s Pop-Up also helps the reintegration of these seniors into society. They get in touch with youthful initiators, and dinner guests have the possibility to take a sneak-peak in the kitchen afterwards, meeting the chef cooks. In that way, the restaurant is not only a place to enjoy food, but it acts as a social platform that re-connects these lonely seniors with the rest of society.
Since aging populations and isolation of elderly seem common trends in many cities across the world, and pop-up restaurants with original concepts are on the rise, we may possibly find Oma’s Pop-Up to be replicated in other cities rather soon. Let’s hope so, because really: is there anything better than grandma’s home-made traditional stew with meatballs?