Ryan Riley - Life Kitchen

Ryan will be hosting our Cookery Tent at this years festival 

Life Kitchen is a not-for-profit organisation focused on helping people with cancer rediscover and revive their love of food.

During chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatment, a lot of patients lose or experience changes to their sense of taste. This can be a really difficult side effect that can make mealtimes isolating and unenjoyable.

Often during treatment, food can seem unapproachable and a lot of people lose their appetite altogether.

However, food is a big part of recovery, emotionally and physically and not enjoying or eating food can lead to a number of nutritional complications – for more information, visit world cancer research fund

Life Kitchen is run by co-founders Ryan Riley, author, cook and food stylist, and Kimberley Duke, recipe developer, trained chef and food stylist. Life Kitchen is backed by science, advised by Professor Barry Smith, the founder of the Centre for Study of the Senses. Professor Smith advises the Life Kitchen team on our recipes and ingredients so that people living with an altered sense of taste get enjoyment out of food.

The Life Kitchen headquarters is in Mowbray lodge, the UK’s first cancer cookery school, it is wheelchair accessible and is intuitively designed to give our guests the most carefree experience.

The Life Kitchen team also travel around the United Kingdom hosting free 3-4 hour cookery classes in beautiful spaces.

The classes focus on helping people understand more about taste and flavour and focus on enjoying cooking again, allowing that often needed respite from treatment. 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 enjoy food.

After her death, he wanted to honour his mother’s memory in some way and use his cooking skills to help cancer patients find flavour and enjoyment in food again. And so, Life Kitchen was born.

In 2018 the Life Kitchen won the award for Best Ethical Food Project in the Observer Food Monthly Awards.

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