Cooking scheme for cancer sufferers to feature on The One Show on BBC1

From left, Kevin Marquis, Shaun Riley and Ryan Riley.
From left, Kevin Marquis, Shaun Riley and Ryan Riley.

A Wearside-launched charity scheme which helps cancer sufferers fall back in love with food will appear on national TV.

Life Kitchen – which launched earlier this year in Sunderland with support from the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) – offers free cooking classes for people living with cancer.

Ryan Riley, a 25-year-old food writer who lost his mother to small cell lung cancer four years ago, created the organisation to help chemotherapy patients taste food again.

A feature on the charity will be shown on BBC One’s The One Show before Christmas.

“The loss of taste due to chemotherapy is underrepresented in society so I launched the organisation – in memory of my mother – to help cancer sufferers live better after receiving the treatment.

“In the classes we’ll teach people about the flavours that can be added to food to provide a strong taste and we’ll teach people how to trigger a certain nerve that – when activated with specific ingredients – will help overcome the damage done to taste receptors.”

Now – having delivered multiple cooking classes across the UK – the organisation has enlisted former Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins as patron.

The organisation has also received backing from celebrity chefs including Nigella Lawson.

Ryan added: “We’ve been amazed by the support we’ve had from the likes of Kevin Marquis at the BIC who opened many doors for us and put us in touch with the likes of Sunderland City Council who were instrumental in helping us prepare for the future.”