Life Kitchen to give out 300 free kids' meals from its award-winning Mowbray Park Lodge
High-profile chef Ryan Riley will be giving away 300 free kids’ meals from his award-winning Mowbray Park kitchen.
Washington-born Ryan set up The Life Kitchen after completely transforming The Lodge within Mowbray Park in 2019, with celebrity chef and friend Nigella Lawson cutting the ribbon.
Inspired by his mum Krista, who passed away from cancer aged just 47, Ryan set up the kitchen to help patients whose ability to taste is often affected by cancer treatment, robbing them of one of life’s pleasures.
His mission to help them enjoy food once more through free cookery lessons proved hugely successful, but ground to a halt due to Covid-19.
Touched by the free school meals debate, Ryan is returning to the kitchen on October 29 and 30 where he’ll be giving out 150 free meals a day as well as bake at home meals for parents – with no questions asked.
For those in need, all you need do is turn up at The Lodge on Thursday or Friday from 10am to 4pm to collect a packed lunch, as well as high-quality mac’n’cheese boxes which can be baked at home.
The meals will be served from The Life Kitchen van outside of the Lodge, which has itself undergone a deep clean, so will be Covid secure.
"Just because people can’t afford meals, it doesn’t mean what they eat should be low quality,” said Ryan. “Good food has a mental health element to it too, it’s comforting, it has flavour, depth. Something like eating a good meal can inspire you.”
Ryan, who’s appeared on many national TV shows including Saturday Kitchen as well as releasing a best-selling cookery book, said: “I feel like it’s so important not to ask people about their circumstances when they collect their food. If someone needs food, they need food, you have to trust in the community.”
The chef’s transformation of the once run-down Lodge, which dates back to 1856, has seen him win numerous awards for his inventiveness.
Last year, it won the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) North East Regional Awards for Planning Excellence and this year it’s been awarded a Building Project of the Year award by Constructing Excellence North East.