This startup aims to help cancer patients enjoy food again

 Life Kitchen

If you have had chemotherapy or know someone who has, you understand that one of the side effects of the treatment can be a significantly diminished sense of taste. This side effect reduces the enjoyment of eating and is a continuing struggle for those who love food. Caretakers, too, are disheartened by being unable to fix foods for their charges or loved ones. After watching his mother suffer this way, one young man in England decided to do something about it

Ryan Riley, who lost his mother several years ago to cancer, wanted to help others living with the disease rediscover the appetites. With the aid of Sue Perkins, the 24-year-old food writer and food stylist set up Life Kitchen. Its goals are to to teach cooking skills and recipes that might restore some pleasure in food, and to do so alongside others facing similar challenges. 

The seeds for Life Kitchen were planted when Riley tweeted out the basics of the program one night just over a year ago.  Nigella Lawson - who lost her first husband  to cancer - was among those who saw its potential. After she urged support from her many followers, Riley  raised £10,000 in a week through a GoFundMe page

The organization offers cooking classes, free of charge, to anyone interested in learning how to boost the flavors of food to make them more appealing to those suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy.  The first classes were offered in River Cottage. After hearing about Riley's efforts, Hugh Fearnsley-Whittingstall offered use of the cookery school to host the classes. Since then, Life Kitchen hashosted more than 100 other guests at venues including the Jamie Oliver Cookery School in central London, Daylesford farm in Gloucestershire and At the Kitchen in Manchester.

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