C4’s The Restaurant that Makes Mistakes leaves viewers ‘heartbroken’

Dementia patient stars of The Restaurant that Makes Mistakes leave viewers ‘heartbroken’ at ‘cruelty’ of the disease – but some question if it’s SAFE to let them handle knives and raw meat

  • The Restaurant that Makes Mistakes employed 14 dementia patient over 5 weeks
  • Channel 4 filmed how the volunteers in the ‘dementia cafe’ got on working with top Michelin-starred chef Josh Eggleton at the Bristol pop-up restaurant    
  • Episode saw Lorayne Burgess, who has frontotemporal dementia, struggle to cut fish, while Avril Staunton, a former top obstetrician surgeon lost her belongings
  • Show also featured Jordan  Adams, 24,  who has inherited Pick’s Disease gene

A ground-breaking television experiment that sees dementia patients running a gourmet restaurant left viewers ‘heartbroken’ at how the volunteers’ conditions affected their ability to work in a professional environment.

Over five weeks, the Channel 4 show The Restaurant that Makes Mistakes invited people diagnosed with dementia to work in all areas of the restaurant,under the watchful eye of Michelin-starred chef Josh Eggleton.

The hour-long first episode saw the enthusiastic volunteers getting to grips with restaurant life with things quickly going awry as orders were forgotten and dishes took on a unique twist – with one lady trying to put the soil from a basil plant into a salad. 

Those watching from home said on Twitter that they were ‘heartbroken’ at just how difficult the working environment becomes for people with dementia, while others questioned whether handling raw meat and sharp knives was a safe concept. 

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Channel 4 show The Restaurant that Makes Mistakes invited 14 dementia patients to work in a pop-up restaurant. Lorayne Burgess, pictured, was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia at 48. The 55-year-old is seen struggling to cut a piece of fish up during the first episode 

On social media, viewers called the way the condition had robbed the patients of some of their skills in everyday life ‘heartbreaking’ while others questioned whether a working kitchen was the right place to conduct the five-week experiment

Former legal representative Jacqui Tunnicliff, has a form of the condition that means the messages between what her eyes see and her brain gets don’t match – which meant making a salad proved difficult for her

Chef Josh Eggleton asks if she’s ‘gardening’ after Jacqui pulls out most of the soil with the plant leaves while prepping the salad

The pop-up eatery sees 14 dementia patients serving up top nosh – and some hilarious moments – as part of the new Channel 4 show

The first episode saw diners arriving at the restaurant, run by Michelin-starred chef Josh Eggleton, with service proving eventful as the effects of the employees’ dementia becomes clear

On Twitter, viewer @shanaskimming wrote: ‘It’s heartbreaking watching people with dementia it’s such an awful disease. We have got to remember though that they are normal just like us and therefore people who have dementia should still be able to work!’  

@BettyShmem added: ‘#TheRestaurantThatMakesMistakes is breaking my heart. My best friend’s mum was diagnosed with #dementia last year…and she’s in her 50s dammit. Cruel. Unfair. Horrific disease.’

However some questioned whether a kitchen serving food to diners was the right environment for such an experiment.  

@Mindful2move penned: ‘I definitely feel that many work places could be more inclusive of disabilty but I don’t think #dementia, cooking and raw chicken are a good mix.’  

At one point, Eggleton watches on as his trainees get to work, with their individual conditions affecting their skills in the kitchen. 

One 61-year-old volunteer, Jacqui Tunnicliff, a former legal representative, has a form of the condition that means the messages between what her eyes see and her brain gets don’t match. When she’s asked to pull basil leaves off a plant for a salad she ends up including the soil at the bottom of the plant in the dish too.

Avril Staunton is one of the volunteers, the 63-year-old is a former obstetrician surgeon and gynecologist but was forced to retire in 2015. During the first episode, Avril was seen becoming frustrated after losing her belongings

Avril in her younger years; her partner Michael explained that she had saved hundreds of lives with her exceptional work, calling her decline ‘cruel’ 

Actor Hugh Bonneville, who narrates the show, arrived in the restaurant as a diner

Leading dementia expert Dr Zoe Wyrko helped assess the volunteers ahead of their appearance on the show

Throughout leading dementia expert Dr Zoe Wyrko explains the challenges faced by those working in it.  The show reveals four out of five people diagnosed with dementia before retirement lose their jobs.

Former obstetrician surgeon and gynecologist Avril Staunton, who was diagnosed in 2015, says: ‘I just want to do something. I think I could do any of the spaces in the retsaurant and if you say I need to do all the dirty washing, I’ll do that as well. I don’t mind. I really don’t.’

Jordan Adams, from Redditch, Worcestershire, inherited a gene mutation from his late mother Geraldine which means he will develop Pick’s Disease, a form of dementia

The volunteers pictured in the restaurants including Jordan, back row, far left

Jordan pictured as a boy with his mother; Pick’s Disease claimed the life of her, her mother and her sister and the gene mutation that causes it has been passed on to Jordan

Chef Josh Eggleton told This Morning that starting a restaurant with 14 people who have dementia working there was a nerve-wracking experience

Her 40-year career took her all over the world until symptoms of the condition began to affect her professional life and she was forced to retire. Her partner Michael tells viewers: ‘If you think about it in terms of someone who has been really quite exceptional, saved people’s lives, done amazing surgery – that is extraordinary important work. And then people are treating you at times so cruelly with complete disrespect, with disregard to that past.’ 

At one point in the show, Avril can’t find her belongings for a second time and breaks down. She’s heard saying: ‘They’ve moved them all again, every single one of them.’ 

The restaurant decides to put photos on the lockers to show who they belong to.   

Jordan Adams, from Redditch, also appears. The 24-year-old is likely to develop a deadly form of dementia in his forties after losing his mother, grandmother and auntie to Pick’s Disease. 

Jordan explained to hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield that he always knew he had a 50 per cent chance of inheriting the gene from his mother Geraldine but had hoped to have his father Glen’s healthy gene.  

After taking the test and discovering that he will develop Pick’s Disease, Jordan says he now wants to have children with his partner Lucy – but will undergo pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to ensure they can conceive IVF babies without the gene being passed on. 

He explained: ‘I lived with the uncertainty [of not knowing] for so long that it took control of my life to a point where I was depressed, I was angry. I felt like I wanted to take my own life. It became a real problem.’ 

Jordan appeared alongside Josh, far right, and one of the volunteers at the restaurant Sue Strachan

Sue, 63, explained that she was diagnosed with vascular dementia at the age of just 55 in December 2012 but says she has made the decision to ‘get out there and do something’ after accepting she has the disease

Sue Strachan worked behind the bar of the restaurant and says she hopes viewers will laugh with them


Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders, that is, conditions affecting the brain.

There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.

Some people may have a combination of types of dementia.

Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience their dementia in their own unique way.

Dementia is a global concern but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age.


The Alzheimer’s Society reports there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, of which more than 500,000 have Alzheimer’s.

It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia in the UK by 2025 will rise to over 1 million.

In the US, it’s estimated there are 5.5 million Alzheimer’s sufferers. A similar percentage rise is expected in the coming years.

As a person’s age increases, so does the risk of them developing dementia.

Rates of diagnosis are improving but many people with dementia are thought to still be undiagnosed.


Currently there is no cure for dementia.

But new drugs can slow down its progression and the earlier it is spotted the more effective treatments are.

Source: Dementia UK 

He said he made the decision to have the test so he could ‘plan my life for the future.’

‘I want to continue to raise awareness but I’ve got my partner Lucy, who I’m very serious about. We’ve very keen to have a family. 

‘Hopefully with pre-implantation genetic diagnosis we’ll be able to have babies through IVF without passing the gene on, which mean my kids don’t have to live with dementia, which is the whole reason for having the test.’

Jordan is one of 14 volunteers who worked in the Restaurant That Makes Mistakes for five weeks in Bristol for the new television series.   

He was joined on the This Morning sofa by top Michelin-starred chef Josh Eggleton and another volunteer Sue Strachan. 

Sue, 63, explained how, in December 2012, at the age of 55,  she had a sudden transient global amnesia – essentially short-term memory loss – and was diagnosed with vascular dementia.  

She told Holly and Phil she spent ’18 months thinking they’d got it wrong’ before accepting she had the disease and deciding to ‘get out there and do something’. 

Chef Josh Eggleton said he’d been nervous about the venture but had learned a lot, saying: ‘I felt like I was part of that team. It was incredibly nerve-wracking on the first day.’

The trio said some ‘hilarious things happened’ during the filming of the show but that viewers will hopefully ‘laugh with us’. 

The Restaurant that Makes Mistakes airs on Channel 4 on Wednesday at 9pm

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