Many of us have fond memories of our grandmother’s cooking.

Whether it be her baked goods or her grand family dinners, she always had a secret ingredient that made her cooking better than anyone else’s.

Years of cooking with love, for friends and family, have made grandmothers some of the best cooks we know.

What if we could re-create that lovely homey experience again?

In France they may have figured out a way to do this – there is a service where you can hire a granny to come and cook for you in your own home.

Lou Papé was established in 2015 to help food lovers recreate the family nostalgia of a good home cooked meal.

Founder, Alizé Delbès explained that it was her grandmother that inspired her to start Lou Papé, “when I moved to Paris, I realised there were probably a lot of people like my grandmother who would be glad to have a new life in retirement where they could cook for people.”

For Lou Papé, it’s not just about the customer getting good food, but also a service to the older people.

What they offer is a chance for isolated elderly people, who still have so much to offer, to go out and meet people. And to feel included and valued for their contributions.  

Delbès previously said that what they offer allows older people to feel included and valued for their contributions, “it’s a way for older people to find a new activity in retirement, to preserve social utility and let them share their passion”.

Grannys cooking

On their website there are a range of older cooks and chefs, many of whom are retirees, that customers can book to come to their home and cook from scratch.

All the chefs on Lou Papé are over the age of 58 and quite literally grandparents.

Customers can choose from the chef’s recipes or they can even request a recipe from their own childhood – it might not be exactly the same, but chances are it will be tasty.

These grannies go above and beyond a regular cook, and truly make you feel cared for. They not only come and cook, they will also do your dishes and put them away for you, caring for your home as if it were their own.

“Lou Papé and the chef will take care of everything – the shopping, preparation, service ” says Delbès.

And the experience doesn’t have to stop and just being fed, the home patrons can also take the opportunity to have a one-on-one cooking lesson. What better way to learn to cook than from someone who’s food you truly enjoy?

“It’s not bad to learn to cook with websites and cooking lessons online but when we really love cooking, it’s best is to share a moment with the cook, to smell the flavours from the oven.”

“When you book Lou Papé the chef cooks in your kitchen and – if you want to – you can lend a hand to the chef,” says Delbès.

There’s much that we can value and learn from the elders in our society, even if it is as simple as dinner.

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