Café at the ORTUS develops ‘happy/healthy brain salad’

Café at the ORTUS develops ‘happy/healthy brain salad’


12 June 2013

Café at the ORTUS develops ‘happy/healthy brain salad’ to improve mental health and wellbeing

A newly opened Camberwell café has developed a special salad that will feed the mind of the local community to celebrate its launch.

The community café at the ORTUS learning and events venue on Grove Lane devised the salad to raise awareness of how eating the right foods can improve mental health and wellbeing.

Specialist caterer Vacherin which operates Café at the ORTUS, invented the happy/healthy brain salad as a limited edition menu item in the opening month of June.

Genevieve Glover, managing director of Maudsley Learning, the company that operates the ORTUS, said: “Psychologists claim that foods such as fatty fish, wholegrains, leafy greens and yoghurt with active cultures keep the mind working at its best.  Basic dietary changes can boost cognitive function and reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders.“Our ‘happy/healthy brain salad’ and wider Nutritious and Delicious and Mood Food menu has been designed with the local community’s mental health in mind and we want people to discover how tasty healthy foods can be.”

The happy/healthy brain salad contains 546 calories and includes ingredients such as jerk-spiced salmon, famous Neal’s yard goat’s cheese, pepper and broccoli salad with brown rice and peas.

The ingredients are locally sourced and have been selected to reflect the preferred flavours of South London which has a strong Caribbean influence and a historical love of seafood.

ORTUS happy salad_3

Gary Baverstock, Vacherin nutritionist, said: “The happy/healthy brain salad is delicious and nutritious. The dish features two different cuts of salmon for optimum brain boosting benefits as most of the key nutrients are found in the fattier parts of the fish such as the belly. The complex carbohydrates in the brown rice provide the steady energy needed to feed the brain and deliver glucose. The dish also contains a generous proportion of broccoli and peppers which are full of brain supporting nutrients and antioxidants.”

The Caribbean influenced (spiced) dish, contains foods with optimum brain boosting benefits. The salmon provides Essential Omega 3 Fats (EPA & DHA) that is pivotal for healthy brain function and communication. The brown ‘rice and peas’ deliver complex carbohydrates – slow release glucose energy – the main source of fuel for the brain. The antioxidants and vitamins C & K in the vegetables help to protect against free radical damage and improve cognitive function and brainpower, whilst Vitamin B6 and Folate help to reduce high homocystiene levels linked to cognitive impairment.

Cafe at the ORTUS team

From left to right

Jonathan Price, Sales & Marketing Manager, Maudsley Learning
Hamish Burn, Catering Manager, Vacherin
Steve Farmer, Operations Manager, Vacherin
Keeley Haworth, BD & Marketing Manager, Vacherin

Ventsislava Veikova, Chef, Vacherin/ the ORTUS

Maudsley Learning will share skills and knowledge in the field of mental health using new technology and engaging with the local area, including SLaM staff, Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) professionals and mental health workers from around the country, but also service users, carers, family members and friends of those affected by a mental health condition.

The £7m ORTUS opened on Monday 3rd June. The café is open 8am to 6pm throughout the week and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays so pop in and enjoy a mood boosting dish. For further information about ORTUS and its opening, visit or email


For media enquiries, please contact:

Siobhan Morris or Alison Short, Cube PR /

0161 920 0011 / 0014

Notes to Editors

Maudsley Learning and the ORTUS

ORTUS, is a new learning, training and events venue opening in Camberwell, South London, on 3rd June. The construction of the new building cost £4.6m. The total value of the project, including fit-out is estimated at £7m.

The new venue has been funded by Maudsley Charity, one of the largest NHS charities, which focuses on investment in innovative mental health projects. The ORTUS learning and events venue will be operated by a new community interest company, Maudsley Learning. Maudsley Learning’s vision is to raise knowledge and awareness of mental health and wellbeing. It will achieve this through the delivery of innovative learning events both in the venue, ORTUS and through our virtual learning environment, ORTUS online.

Kumar Jacob, Chair of Maudsley Charity, and his team released the funds needed to make the project happen. The money, generated through a string of profitable property investments, was invested in the construction of the ORTUS, and to create the community interest company, Maudsley Learning.

All profits generated by Maudsley Learning will go to Maudsley Charity for the benefit of future investment in innovative mental health learning.


ORTUS is located on Grove Lane in Camberwell, South London.

ORTUS has been built on the site of a former training centre, within an extensive specialist mental health campus, which includes South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), King’s College Hospital, Kings College London and the Institute of Psychiatry.

For more information, please visit