Chef Tiffani Faison is best known nationally for her turns on Top Chef. She was runner-up on the first season of the competition show, returned for season eight (Top Chef: All Stars), and has appeared in several special episodes. In the Boston area her renown has only grown in the past five years, as she opened two wildly successful restaurants, Sweet Cheeks Q and Tiger Mama, which are soon to be joined by a third restaurant in the Fenway neighborhood.
But for Vera, a Middleborough, Massachusetts resident, it's not the TV shows or the restaurants that make Tiffani her favorite. It was the chef's personal visit to her home (and perhaps the biscuits) that sealed the deal.
Thank You Caregiver Nation
This month is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to honor, thank, and celebrate family caregivers for their selfless work. The Thank You Caregiver Nation movement seeks to provide a space to do all of those things – for people to join a chorus of voices across the country showing their appreciation.
One of the many ways to show caregivers appreciation is through food. Between shopping, cooking, cleaning, and sometimes feeding, meals are often the biggest part of a caregiver's busy day. A break is always welcome, and good food is universal. That's why the Thank You Caregiver Nation movement includes a contest where you can nominate a caregiver to receive free meals for a month. But we at Seniorlink also wanted to do something above and beyond for a caregiver we know.
Joining the Movement
As Chef Tiffani's parents get older, caregiving is increasingly on her mind. This, combined with her passion for helping others, meant Tiffani was thrilled to join the Thank You Caregiver Nation movement – especially if it meant using her skills in the kitchen to surprise a caregiver.
Vera is a full-time caregiver for her mother, Evelyn, who is 92 years old and has dementia. Vera’s husband, Paul, and her son Dan also share in the caregiving duties at home.
On the day of the event, Vera expected a team from Seniorlink to come by and create a testimonial video about their family.
After the Seniorlink team broke the news to Vera that she would be getting a visit from a celebrity chef, Tiffani showed up with fixings for several of the barbecue dishes she made famous at Sweet Cheeks. Biscuits, ribs, fried chicken and brisket were all on the menu.
Tiffani cooked, plated and served it all in Vera's kitchen for the family. Everyone (including Coco the dog) ate to their hearts’ content, and enjoyed talking to Tiffani about their family, caregiving, and their relationship with Evelyn.
After the event, Laurie Gillis, Director of Marketing at Seniorlink, spoke of the experience, saying “It was a truly special day, a great chance to celebrate a special family.”
Laurie explains that the Thank You Caregiver Nation initiative is an opportunity to “spotlight remarkable caregivers like Vera and Dan,” adding that it “meant so much to have a renowned chef and all-around class-act like Tiffani Faison to help support and bolster the effort.”
Caregivers deserve so much for the work they do. We hope you enjoyed the day, Vera. Thank you for everything you do.
To nominate a caregiver you know, or yourself if you are a caregiver, to receive a month of free meals, go to TYCaregivers.com