At 90 years old, Fred Perkins has spent a lifetime refining his culinary capabilities. Since his transition to The Buckingham senior living community four years ago, he’s channeled those talents into a new food frontier and an unusual way to serve up random acts of kindness to those around him – baking.
Pies, specifically key lime and pecan, are favorites. He spends up to three hours making the desserts, same with loaves of bread he meticulously makes from scratch.
The lucky recipients of these delectable creations? His neighbors and team members at the community. It’s not uncommon for residents in his exercise group to receive a post-workout treat, or those behind the concierge desk or other front-line team members to get a hand-delivered slice of appreciation. Gestures like this are a big part of the close-knit culture at The Buckingham.
Perkins traces his affinity for flavors back to his youth, where he spent the summers with his grandparents in rural Florida. They mostly lived off the ocean, and Perkins would carefully study his grandfather as he caught, cleaned and cooked their catch.
This translated into a passion for cooking – seafood, smoked meats, creole cuisine. Last year, in a competitive field of resident and team member chili connoisseurs, his recipe rose to the top at The Buckingham’s annual chili cook-off, and this year he earned runner up.