Kitchen Rules comes to Titjikala
A cooking program for local men in the remote Indigenous community of Titjikala, 1,600 km south of Darwin in the Northern Territory, that was set up to support healthy eating and encourage self-sufficiency has culminated in an entertaining competition that engaged the entire community.
Dubbed the ‘Titjikala Kitchen Rules’, the Men Making Meals project run by Catholic Care NT received $3,653 from the Small Grants for Rural Communities program to engage the men in the Titjikala community and provide a platform for learning cooking skills, nutritious recipes, developing healthy eating behaviours, as well as encouraging social engagement across all age groups.
The grant was initially requested to purchase kitchen equipment, however thanks to strong community partnerships that provided both staff and facilities for the program, the money was primarily spent on food items, enabling the program to run for longer than initially planned. The fortnightly sessions had high community engagement, with 68 men participating in the program at least once, and through ongoing collaboration, education and encouragement, nearly 90% of participants also completed their Adult Health Check over the course of the program.
The Titjikala Kitchen Rules competition saw four teams of four men write up their shopping lists, race to the local shops and back to the kitchen where they independently prepared a main meal and a dessert for everyone in their community (approximately 90 people). Judging was a tense affair, with the competition eventually ending in a draw!