Fundraising announced to provide cooking classes for people living with cancer

Mon 2nd Jul

We're delighted to announce our partnership with Life Kitchen, a charitable initiative that offers free cookery classes across the UK for people living with cancer. 
We'll be working with the charity - a cause close to our hearts - and will be asking diners for a voluntary £1 donation on their bill throughout the month of July to help fund cookery classes and research. 
Around 80% of people undergoing chemotherapy find that the treatment robs them of their ability to taste. This not only makes food unpalatable for them, it takes away one of the pleasures of life.
Founded by Sunderland-born Ryan Riley, and with the help of pioneering research from Professor Barry Smith of the University of London - a world authority in taste and the senses - Life Kitchen is working on recipes and holding cookery classes to help those living with cancer to experience the comfort and delight of flavour again. Ryan Riley founded this charity initiative in memory of his mother Krista who, at just 47, lost her battle against small-cell lung cancer four years ago.
The Life Kitchen cookery classes at Blackfriars have already been a success and more are planned for the future, but at around £1,000 a class to run Life Kitchen relies on donations to keep it going. Classes are free of charge but spaces are limited to twelve people: six people who are currently undergoing or recently finished chemotherapy plus a guest each.
Blackfriars' sister restaurants, Dobson & Parnell in Newcastle and Hinnies in Whitley Bay are also taking part in the fundraising.
Andy Hook, managing director of the Hooked-on Group, which runs Blackfriars Restaurant & Cookery School, Dobson & Parnell and Hinnies said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to form this partnership with Life Kitchen and Blackfriars Cookery School. Ryan is such a brilliantly talented and innovative chef and has a totally infectious enthusiasm for his charity which is such a smart idea I don’t know why no one has thought about it before!"
Blackfriars is one of the leading restaurants in the North East having received the Taste of England award from the North East England Tourism Awards and includes a restaurant, bar, Cookery School, Banquet Hall and Tasting Room.
For more information please contact: