Special cookery classes to help cancer patients whose taste and smell have been affected by their treatment have been helping patients in Cumbria.
The Northern Cancer Alliance funded a Life Kitchen cookery class for Cumbrian patients at Carlisle College in Carlisle. Life Kitchen is a not-for-profit cookery school for people whose taste has been affected by cancer or cancer treatment.
The class has meant that some people have tasted food for the first time in a long time and was a great birthday present for one attendee.
One person said: “Fabulous food and great company, many thanks Interesting, fun, informal - thoroughly enjoyed Could taste everything that was made for first time since taste changes due to chemo. Miso is on my shopping list! I have also learned how to use different flavours in a dish. Dishes were simple and sooo tasty.”
Another said: “I would like to say a big thank you to the nurses at the Cancer Unit, Carlisle for putting my name down for a cookery course for patients with no appetite or taste. I have thouroughly enjoyed it and could taste what I made. What a way to spend your birthday.”
It is run by co-founders Ryan Riley, author, cook and food stylist, and Kimberley Duke, recipe developer, trained chef and food stylist.
Ryan said: “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.”
Sharon Middlemore, cancer personalised care manager at NCIC said: “The classes help develop transferable skills, tools and knowledge needed to transform their cooking and eating experience at home.
“They also help to reduce isolation and build community, offering much-needed respite with an enjoyable, educational, social and supportive cookery class. I hope that we will be able to provide this class in West Cumbria in the near future.”
If your taste or appetite has been affected by cancer or Covid, you can download their free book Essential Flavour.