More: A Life Kitchen Christmas

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About Life Kitchen

Life Kitchen is a not-for-profit cookery school for people whose taste has been affected by cancer or cancer treatment. We also teach anyone who is experiencing an altered sense of taste due to Covid. Life Kitchen’s focus is on taste and flavour and helping people enjoy food again.

During cancer treatment and Covid, a lot of patients lose or experience changes to their sense of taste or smell. This is a really difficult side effect that can make mealtimes difficult and isolating. We’re here to change that.

Life Kitchen is run by co-founders Ryan Riley, author, cook and food stylist, and Kimberley Duke, recipe developer, trained chef and food stylist.

Both Ryan and Kim were inspired to launch Life Kitchen after losing parents to cancer. Throughout Ryan’s mum Krista’s two-year battle with cancer, Ryan saw how chemotherapy was affecting her ability to taste and experience food. After her death, he wanted to honour his mother’s memory and use his cooking skills to help cancer patients find flavour and pleasure in food again. And so, Life Kitchen was born.

Life Kitchen is backed by science. We are advised by Professor Barry Smith, the founder of the Centre for Study of the Senses. Professor Smith guides the Life Kitchen team on our recipes and ingredients so that people living with an altered sense of taste get enjoyment out of food.

Our classes are run by a Life Kitchen teacher and take around 1 hour and 30 minutes. During the classes we will teach you about our five principles of taste and flavour – for more information on this take a look at our science page.

You can book one of our free classes here, delivered in partnership with the World Cancer Research Fund.

FREE Taste & Flavour book

When it first came to light that many people with Covid-19 were experiencing loss of taste and smell, our first thought was – what can we do to help?

At Life Kitchen, we want to help as many people as possible to enjoy food again, and in doing so take further steps, however small, towards recovering their overall well-being. So welcome to our Taste & Flavour book. In it, you’ll find a range of recipes that use ingredient combinations, along with textures and other sensory factors, that we hope will help you derive pleasure from food – and we’ve excluded the ingredients we now know most people with Covid don’t fancy.

Life Kitchen: Quick, easy, mouth-watering recipes to revive the joy of eating.

This book is a life changer: this is not gush, but a statement of fact. The recipes in these pages have the power to bring pleasure back to the table for those whose tastebuds have taken a bashing in the course of cancer treatment, and it teaches new tricks and important lessons with gentleness and enthusiasm. It is also a fascinating invitation to lively flavour combinations for all of us who cherish the joy to be had at mealtimesNigella Lawson

Life Kitchen Classes

Our classes are now on-line in partnership with the World Cancer Research fund. We currently have on-line classes for people living in the North-east, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridge. Go to our book a free class page to sign up for a free class. We will even send you a voucher, covering the cost of ingredients!

Our classes focus on helping people understand more about taste and flavour and focus on enjoying cooking again, allowing that often needed respite from treatment. If there isn’t a class online for your area yet, sign up to our newsletter below to be the first to hear about new dates!

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Mowbray Park Lodge South
Mowbray Park, Toward Road
Sunderland SR2 8DP

Covid-19 - Life Kitchen Cookery

At Life Kitchen the welfare of our guests and staff is of the utmost importance. After taking trusted advice from Public Health England and other government bodies with regard to COVID-19, it is with regret that we will be re-scheduling all upcoming classes until a later date.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions by emailing, and please do sign up to our mailing list to get further updates.

Recipes to revive the joy of taste & flavour

Shaun Riley | Operations Director

Shaun is operations director for Life Kitchen and has a commercial background in social housing, media and health care. Shaun heads up our northern operations at Mowbray park lodge.

Contact Shaun about Mowbray Park lodge, northern classes and events at

Kimberley Duke | Ceo - Culinary director

Co-founder of Life Kitchen, Kimberley is a trained chef, who is deeply passionate about food, flavour and all things taste related. Kimberley also heads up research and development.

Contact her for all things partnership, collaboration and food at