OUR STORY

When 25-year-old Ryan’s mum Krista passed away from cancer five years ago, he couldn’t have imagined that the most depressing time in his life would lead to helping and changing lives of others. As a food writer and stylist, food formed a big part of his life, however, throughout his mum’s two-year battle with cancer, Ryan experienced first-hand how chemotherapy was affecting her taste and ability to enjoy food. This was an unexpected consequence of the chemotherapy but one that Ryan found affected his mother greatly. It too, affected him, and after her passing he struggled with the notion that she found it difficult to find anything she wanted to eat in the months before she died. 
Krista was a keen home cook, and often made the “perfect versions” of four or five staple north-east dishes, including the Mackem hot pot and panaclty. Towards the end of her treatment, however, the only thing she wanted to taste were synthetic ice pops, mainly for their numbing cold. Having experienced the devastating effect of this first hand, and wanting to honour his mother’s memory in some way, Ryan wondered if there might be a way of using his cooking skills to help cancer patients find flavour and enjoyment in food again. 

And so, Life Kitchen was born. It’s mission? To help anyone who has survived or is still going through cancer learn recipes designed to help mitigate the demoralising and often dramatic changes in taste that result from the treatment, and to do so alongside others facing similar challenges. Ryan tweeted the idea and it quickly gained momentum, with the likes of Nigella Lawson – who lost her first husband to cancer – urging support from her two million followers. Within a week of that, Ryan had raised £10,000 through a GoFundMe page to put together a pilot, which resulted in offers of support from River Cottage and many others.

The classes, which were available all over the country, continued to reach capacity, with many attendees sighting how wonderful it was to fall in love with food again and for a mere moment, forget about the treatment they had either survived or were still undergoing. Its success has prompted the opening of the Life Kitchen cookery school as well as the launch of Ryan’s new cookbook, all of which will continue to grow this incredible undertaking.  
 
To keep up to date with all things Life Kitchen, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter. 
When 25-year-old Ryan’s mum Krista passed away from cancer five years ago, he couldn’t have imagined that the most depressing time in his life would lead to helping and changing lives of others. As a food writer and stylist, food formed a big part of his life, however, throughout his mum’s two-year battle with cancer,
 
Ryan experienced first-hand how chemotherapy was affecting her taste and ability to enjoy food. This was an unexpected consequence of the chemotherapy but one that Ryan found affected his mother greatly. It too, affected him, and after her passing he struggled with the notion that she found it difficult to find anything she wanted to eat in the months before she died. 
Krista was a keen home cook, and often made the “perfect versions” of four or five staple north-east dishes, including the Mackem hot pot and panaclty. Towards the end of her treatment, however, the only thing she wanted to taste were synthetic ice pops, mainly for their numbing cold. Having experienced the devastating effect of this first hand, and wanting to honour his mother’s memory in some way, Ryan wondered if there might be a way of using his cooking skills to help cancer patients find flavour and enjoyment in food again. 

And so, Life Kitchen was born. It’s mission? To help anyone who has survived or is still going through cancer learn recipes designed to help mitigate the demoralising and often dramatic changes in taste that result from the treatment, and to do so alongside others facing similar challenges. Ryan tweeted the idea and it quickly gained momentum, with the likes of Nigella Lawson – who lost her first husband to cancer – urging support from her two million followers. Within a week of that, Ryan had raised £10,000 through a GoFundMe page to put together a pilot, which resulted in offers of support from River Cottage and many others.

The classes, which were available all over the country, continued to reach capacity, with many attendees sighting how wonderful it was to fall in love with food again and for a mere moment, forget about the treatment they had either survived or were still undergoing. Its success has prompted the opening of the Life Kitchen cookery school as well as the launch of Ryan’s new cookbook, all of which will continue to grow this incredible undertaking.  
 
To keep up to date with all things Life Kitchen, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter. 

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