Cooking Up Connections in the Quintin Warner House Kitchen

The kitchen at Quintin Warner House is a place of opportunity to not only feed oneself but to connect with others on a deeper level and learn something new. “Cooking and eating with other people is such an important event,” said Monette, Addictions Counsellor at Quintin Warner House.

As part of the life skills coaching nested within the addiction treatment program, the clients cook dinner each night and enjoy a family-style meal together. “It allows them to learn how to make different things that they’ve never made before,” explains Monette. It also introduces them to food prep and planning skills like how to time steps of a recipe or measure portions for large groups.

“I think that is overwhelming for them so it teaches them to work through anxiety,” said Monette. “It’s another tool in life. ‘I don’t need to let this thing overwhelm me and then if something else is to happen it becomes too much. Instead, I can work through this manageable amount of anxiety; I can learn to do something I don’t know how to do and it’s okay’”.

Time spent cooking also fosters authentic connections and candid conversations between the clients. “When I’ve been in [the kitchen] helping, the guys are always just prepping and chit-chatting. I’ve learned a lot about them. It’s one place of connection,” reflected Monette. Facilitating genuine connections is a vital part of the program at Quintin Warner House, as it is in all communities and families. “The opposite of connection is isolation, and isolation is usually a part of addiction,” Monette explained.

Preparing balanced meals in an encouraging environment creates a fruitful learning and growth opportunity for the men seeking sobriety. Monette notes, “Recovery is a whole change of life. I think having consistent meals and understanding healthy options as well as cooking your own meals is part of a holistic approach”.

Written by Amy Bumbacco, Communications & PR Coordinator

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