The time Ty cooked for a celebrity chef

When Ty was living in long-term care, most of the staff and residents didn’t know Ty cooked for a celebrity chef!

It started with introverted me stepping WAY out of my comfort zone one day after church service. There he was – Graham Kerr (aka The Galloping Gourmet) standing with his wife Treena, and before I could lose my nerve, I walked over and said “Hi, I’m Deb and my husband Ty is a huge fan! We would love to invite you over for lunch!”

I held my breath as they looked at each other, perhaps wondering if I was some kind of a stalker fan, then Graham said, “We’d be delighted, but we can’t come today – how about four Sunday’s from now?”

I fast walked with a skip in my step back over to Ty, and excitedly played the “Guess who’s coming over for lunch four weeks from now?” 

Most people would go into pure panic mode. I mean, how do you cook for The Galloping Gourmet? But Ty was not like most people. Not by a long shot.

Ok we DID paint the front door (it needed it anyway) and decluttered the kitchen because there would be TWO tall, food passionate men in our small galley kitchen who would be crushing tomatoes together while talking about what foodies talk about…food!

As you can see from the picture, Ty is beaming (and red shirt/khaki combo was popular back then) and had a once in a lifetime experience of connecting with someone he admired, learned from and honoured to cook for Graham and Treena who self admittedly rarely received meal invitations. I mean, he’s the Galloping Gourmet! Talk about intimidating. 

Ty leaned into the opportunity, not because he was super confident about his cooking. Ty just loved to cook for others, and create conversation and connections within the experience of breaking bread together. 

I almost didn’t take those bold steps over to Graham and Treena for fear of rejection. But really, what’s the worst that could happen? They say no? They said YES and together we created a unforgettable afternoon in our back yard with new friends. 

We also created a wonderful memory for Ty that he loved to revisit by going through the massive menu he prepared for The Kerr’s and our non-celebrity guests. 


If you work in seniors’ care, I bet there are many interesting and fun stories your families can share about their loved one. Here’s some questions to get you started.

What’s your favorite memory of your dad?

What would you say your mom would be most excited to share with us about something amazing she did? Something she was scared to do but did it anyway?  Something you feel proud to share? 

And if you’re a family member, how about sharing a story (like cooking for The Galloping Gourmet) that will help the care team members know your loved one just a little bit more?

What can you learn or share about one of your residents/loved one that can bring a memory to life and joy in the connection?


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