Award category sponsored by Winner: Vegan Vegetable Quiche,Taylors Artisan Free-From Bakers & Pie MakersA quiche that is free from all 14 allergens, yet features pastry with a good bite and really tasty filling was the outstanding entry from Taylors, a free-from, 100% vegan bakery.The pastry is made from bean flours and starches, and Taylors blended starches with liquid to replicate the texture of an egg-based filling.“When we had the right formulation, we added a variety of herbs and spices to create the right flavour,” explains Stevan Taylor, owner of the Staffordshire-based business.Originally made as a seasonal line for summer only, the quiche – which contains roast peppers, courgettes, onions and aubergines – has become so popular that it is now a year-round product supplied to a variety of customers including delis and farm shops.“With the growth in the vegan food market, sales of our free-from and vegan products are increasing very fast,” adds Taylor, who explains that the business operates a brown policy, which means that anything that could make coeliacs ill will never enter the premises.“Making a vegetable quiche using a specially developed allergy-free pastry, as well as an egg-free filling, was no easy task. The quiche had a superior appearance, and great texture and flavour.” Virginia Clifford, regional technical service manager at sponsor IngredionFinalist: The Brookie, Bells of LazonbyCross a brownie and a cookie, and you get a Brookie! This hybrid has been created by Cumbrian business Bells of Lazonby.The gluten-, wheat- and milk-free Brookie is a blend of crunchy chocolate chip cookie base, with a brownie middle, marbled with cookie dough topping. A swirl on top makes each piece distinctive.The Brookie, which comes individually wrapped, meets Public Health England’s Sugar 2020 target of 27.9g per 100g, and has already secured listings with a number of foodservice wholesalers.“With the growth of hybrid products, we wanted to create something with mainstream appeal, so we began experimenting with layers and how we could piece these together to give a moist bite on top with the differentiated crunch of a cookie base,” explains managing director Michael Bell.Bells supplies many of the major multiples and coffee shop chains with standard and gluten-free lines.“We prefer to build bandwagons rather than jump on them,” adds Bell.Finalist: Eggfree Platter Cake, Eggfree Cake BoxThis fresh cream cake comprises three layers of soft, moist sponge, sandwiched between two layers of whipped fresh cream and a signature, mixed-fruit spread.It is produced using a vegetarian and egg-free recipe developed by Cake Box and South Bank University.The company supplies the cake in formats including a boxed platter of small individual cake slices, as well as whole round, square or heart-shaped celebration cakes.“We believe our egg-free cakes are indistinguishable in taste and texture from traditional egg-containing cakes, and this allows us to additionally service those who are unable to eat eggs for dietary, religious or lifestyle choices,” says managing director Sukh Chamdal.Launched in 2008, Cake Box supplies products that are all egg-free. The business has enjoyed rapid growth and listed on the Alternative Investment Market in June 2018. In April this year it reported opening a record 28 sites in the past 12 months.
“The really unique part about the program is that they actually live here, so they become not just a volunteer here but a neighbor to our residents,” Rushforth said. These students are part of the Davis School of Gerontology’s intergenerational program, which offers gerontology students the opportunity to live with seniors with free room and board to develop practical experience getting along with senior citizens. The Davis school has been collaborating with Kingsley Manor Retirement Community since 1984. Since a lot of senior residents spend most of their day inside, Rubio said he often acts as the residents’ “eyes” by talking with them about what’s happening outside the community. “I ask what their interests are, and I would find somebody who’s interested in the same things,” Rubio said. “They accommodate and they develop those friendships and it’s easy for them that way.” Students get to know the residents through daily informal interactions to create a comforting environment for them, Rubio said. Students eat meals with residents in the dining room, he added. Rushforth said every student’s experience in the program has been different, depending on the activities they have organized and the relationships they have formed with senior residents. Nelson Rubio, a graduate student studying aging services management, has been living at Kingsley Manor Home since January 2019. He said he often holds social activities based on residents’ interests. Recently, residents have been interested in virtual reality. “[Students] understand firsthand the challenges and the rewards of working in that environment, and they understand the needs of those older adults,” said Maria Henke, senior associate dean of the Davis School. “They get to see what the day-to-day lives of older people living in a senior community are like.” Through daily interaction, Rubio has developed friendships with senior residents. He recounted feeling uneasy when one of the residents, who used to co-teach a class with him, didn’t show up for class. He later learned he had passed away that morning. Rubio said he has learned a lot about the importance of being sensitive to senior adults’ difficulties and thinking innovatively to help them overcome these challenges. On an average day at Kingsley Manor Retirement Community, students hang out in the dining room, casually conversing with their senior neighbors about their favorite shows and teaching them how to use phones. “We’re looking for students who are going to be here on the long term for a while,” Rushforth said. “They get to know our residents, our residents get to know them.” The Davis School of Gerontology intergenerational program at Kingsley Manor Retirement Community provides students free room and board in exchange for 16 hours of volunteer work per week. (Twesha Dikshit | Daily Trojan) Rubio said he always turns his phone on in case residents call him for help with technology. He has also served as a “matchmaker,” connecting senior residents with friends of his who share common interests. George Shannon, instructional associate professor at the Davis school, said intergenerational programs satisfy both senior citizens’ need to share experience and students’ need to understand their behaviors. “You develop friendships that sometimes end too soon,” Rubio said. “That makes you appreciate those moments and it makes you think that while they’re here, how can you make their life better?” Rushforth said residents enjoy chatting with students to gain knowledge of their perspectives on social issues and learning from students about how to use technologies, such as immersive technology. “Not everybody has the same needs,” Rubio said. “In order to meet everyone’s needs, you [have to] find creative ways to meet those needs … In order to be successful in this field, you have … to be sensitive and understand the challenges the older adults face as they age.” Kingsley Manor Retirement Community currently houses more than 200 residents, who enjoy life after retirement or receive nursing care. Students volunteer 16 hours per week to organize community activities such as TED Talk discussions and socialize with seniors, according to Shaun Rushforth, the executive director at Kingsley Manor Retirement Community. “The residents appreciate [students’] perspective in conversations and current events,” Rushforth said. “Technology is a big thing that our residents will go to our student volunteers [for, since] they have time and talents in that.” “It puts together older adults with young kids and fosters understanding and growth on both ends,” Shannon said. “The older adults have this need to communicate and the kids have a need to understand what it is that they’re witnessing in terms of aging.” Students interested in the program submit their resumes and cover letters to Rushforth, who meets with students to talk about expectations of the program and make sure they are a good fit, Rushforth said. “We are testing virtual reality, which is actually really popular among older adults in our dementia group,” Rubio said. “It’s hard for them to go out in the community often, so it’s a really great tool for them to experience other places.” “Sometimes part of the hours is visiting the resident in their room and having a conversation regarding their favorite show [and] listening to music with them,” Rubio said. “Sometimes I have residents teaching me how to play the piano.” “We keep them informed of the outside world, which is actually nice because we’re changing a little bit of their routine,” Rubio said. “These are the opportunities to see something different [happening] today.” “When you pull students who already have that affinity for this demographic and population, there’s genuine affection and friendship that occurs because of that,” Rushforth said. “It is a program where the students can make of it what they want to a certain degree. There’s no two experiences that are the same.”