Spectrum Cooking evaluation at Putia Pure Food Kitchen

Executive Chef, Dominique Rizzo, has worked with researchers from Autism CRC to evaluate classes designed specifically for adults on the spectrum to learn vital cooking and nutritional skills. These aim to enhance independence and health.

Held at Putia Pure Food Kitchen, participants learned to cook recipes (based on their interests and food preferences), spent time in the garden and finished with a communal meal after each of three classes.

Sharing food and cooking are inherently social. However, differences in sensory perception, communication and socialisation for individuals on the autism spectrum mean that such social situations can be difficult to navigate.

Autism CRC Director of Research and Education, Professor Sylvia Rodger, said that there is very little research about meal time experiences of adults on the spectrum and much more needs to be done to understand how sensory differences in taste and smell and food selectivity impact upon nutrition and health.

“Adults on the spectrum can experience difficulties in day-to-day living including meal preparation and at meal times. Negative experiences can lead to increased isolation and limited nutritional intake. Our researchers have evaluated the impact of participation in these classes on health and well-being, and on this, and other, social situations.”

We thank Dominique Rizzo and the team at Putia Pure Food Kitchen for their time and energy providing these autism friendly classes.

Putia Pure Food Kitchen is a multi-purpose space for dining, learning and creating. As a cooking school Putia runs a variety of informative, fun and hands-on, demonstration and workshop classes with a focus on world cuisines as well as including specific classes on gluten free, vegetarian and health driven topics focused on healthy lifestyles, vitality and inspiration in the kitchen, garden and beyond.

Download the recipe book

Watch the cooking classes in action

Autism CRC Project: Improving health and wellbeing for autistic adults