Chef at helm of Sunderland's Life Kitchen launches free cookbook for people whose taste is affected by Covid-19

The chef at the helm of Sunderland’s Life Kitchen is launching a free cookbook for people whose sense of taste has been affected by Covid-19.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 12:54 pm
Ryan Riley in The Life Kitchen at The Lodge in Mowbray Park

The chef launched the school after losing his mum Krista to cancer when she was just 47 and seeing how cancer treatment affected her tastebuds.

His food is full of rich flavours to stimulate senses of taste and smell and now his recipes are being used to help people whose senses have been affected by Covid-19 – a common side effect of the disease.

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The free book is released this month

There are 5,000 copies of the limited edition cookbook, Taste & Flavour, available and they’re free, with a £3 postage fee.

Ryan’s third cookbook, it’s based on the world’s first research papers on the effects of Covid on taste by Professor Barry Smith.

The chef said: “I’m so excited to be bringing out a resource that we hope can help people. We based Taste & Flavour on one of the world’s first research papers and our years of experience with Life Kitchen taste principals. We hope to inspire people struggling to find enjoyment with this carefully curated book.”

Ryan has teamed up with Kimberly Duke on the book and they use five elements – aroma, umami, texture, layering and trigeminal food sensations (the tingling, burning and cooling we get from spices) to help people regain their pleasure in food.

Ryan with one of his previous cook books

After undertaking research and working with long time Life Kitchen consultant Professor Barry Smith, Ryan and Kimberly discovered that Covid-related changes in our taste and smell have some distinctive features.

Sufferers found they didn’t want to eat certain, quite common ingredients, including onions, garlic, meat and eggs, which meant developing a whole new way of thinking about flavour combinations.

::Taste & Flavour will be published on March 29, 2021. It can be ordered through and is free, with a £3 postage fee. Once the 5,000 physical copies of the book are gone, it will be available to download for free as an ebook from Ryan’s website. The book has been created in partnership with Odysea and funded by Sunderland City Council Covid relief fund.

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