By Kieran Hadfield
A cookbook entitled Food and Kindness has been published to raise awareness and funds for Oxfordshire hospice Sobell House. In publishing this book, recognition is also raised of some of the local businesses in the food and drink industry that have supported Sobell House over the years that have been badly affected by the pandemic.
Food & Kindness brings together over 30 stories and recipes from a wide range of local chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and celebrities, many of whom hold Sobell House close to their heart. You’ll find a recipe for hummus from Stephen Fry; the perfect vegetable soup handed down to Mel Giedroyc by her mum; a tasty vegan lunch courtesy of Sue Perkins; and the star of BBC 3 mockumentary This Country, Paul Chahidi, who is an ambassador for Sobell House and proudly showcases his Mediterranean pork, lemon and parmesan meatball dish.
Alongside these famous supporters, plenty of Oxfordshire eateries have also got involved with the book, giving readers the chance to make some of their best-loved dishes at home and discover the stories behind each unique venture. Among these are waterside destination The Cherwell Boathouse with breaded halloumi and sweetcorn fritters; city-centre brasserie No. 1 Ship Street with French onion soup; and South Indian restaurant Bhoomi Kitchen with Keralan fried chicken.
Food and Kindness is all about bringing the local community together to celebrate the inspiring work and ethos of Sobell House. Since 1976, the hospice, which is jointly funded by the NHS and Sobell House Hospice Charity, has been providing specialist end-of-life and palliative care to local people with life-limiting illnesses as well as supporting their families. The staff believe that every adult should be able to die with dignity and without pain.
“If it wasn’t for Sobell House I’m not sure how I could have ever coped. They are the most lovely, selfless people who make the lives of others a priority, working long, hard hours but always maintaining a high standard of care and love. I will always be forever grateful to everyone at Sobell and hope this great place will continue to care for many years to come.”-Yazmine’s experience of the care of her mother Gina.
The idea of the cook book came in March just before ‘lockdown’ when Sobell House’s Head of Fundraising, Lorraine Pink, realised that Covid-19 was going to have a serious impact on the Charity’s income. She said: “We needed to look at alternative ways to engage with our supporters as we could no longer hold our annual fundraising events. A cookbook featuring local businesses who have been so kind to Sobell House over the years seemed the perfect choice.”
Tim Wraith, who has worked with Sobell House for many years and a great ‘foodie’ was the ideal person to lead this project and was delighted to make this project a reality.
“I have loved leading the project to publish Food and Kindness. I am a big foodie person and own lots of recipe books so was delighted to get involved. At Sobell House, we receive incredible kindness from the local hospitality businesses and this is an opportunity for us to support them at this tough time. The whole cost of the book has been sponsored by local businesses which means all the money raised goes to supporting Sobell House.”
Food and Kindness is a 144 page paperback and retails at £15. It will be available to purchase from Amazon, bookshops including Waterstones and online from www.mezepublishing.co.uk.