The UK’s first cancer cookery school is being launched

Food writer and stylist, Ryan Riley, is opening a new cookery school offering free classes for those suffering with cancer.

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The new initiative is named Life Kitchen and is set to be the first of its kind in the UK when it is launched next month on 4 June.

Riley, who has hosted multiple pop-up cooking masterclasses across the country, is opening the new cookery school in honour of his late mother Krista Riley, who passed away from small cell lung cancer in 2014.

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One of the first things we do when writing a recipe, is to pick out one ingredient we love and then begin layering flavours around that ingredient. Take cardamom for example, it creates aromatic curries and spice blends and is a key ingredient in chai teas. But it's also a perfect partner to citrus, especially oranges, and works extremely well (perhaps suprisingly) with cheese. A good way to start enjoying the foods you love again, is to mix them up. Sausage casserole can become black garlic and paprika spiked casserole. Bread and butter pudding can be reinvented as cardamom and lemon pudding. Adding in bright and flavourful ingredients can re-invent the food you love. Try mixing up a classic dish with something new and show us your creations! Left to right we have: Cardamom, Lavender, Tumeric, Fennel seeds, Nutmeg, Smoked paprika, Garam masala, Cumin seeds, Nigella seeds, Star Anise, Juniper berries, White Pepper. #foodie #cooking #cookingwithcancer #buzzfeed #buzzfeedfood #eeeats #foodism #food52 #london #londoneats #lifekitchen #healthyeating #umami #chefstalk #spicy #spiced #cardamom #cancer

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Before her death, Riley’s mother suffered with loss of taste and appetite during chemotherapy treatment. So in a bid to help people living with cancer, he founded Life Kitchen in 2018 to help bring back the flavours and joy of cooking and eating for those who have suffered with similar side effects,  through accessible and creative recipes.

Offering frequent  free-of-charge cooking classes for those eligible, Life Kitchen will be opened in Sunderland, Riley’s home town. The launch night will be hosted by none other than TV cooking queen Nigella Lawson.

According to Riley, the aim of the project is to transform local lives through food therapy and will provide a welcoming, fun escape from a time that can be incredibly difficult and unpredictable for cancer patients. Due to this message being at the core of the charity, Life Kitchen has been supported by not only Nigella but a number of celebrity chefs including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who hosted the charity’s first ever cooking class at his River Cottage in Devon, Jamie Oliver, The Great British Bake Off star Sue Parkins, who is a patron of the charity and has co-hosted a number of their events, as well as Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, who designed an exclusive print for the cooking school.

It has also been supported by the likes of Stephen Fry, who tweeted to raise awareness of the initiative.