Leeds chef's Zoom cooking events raise £7k for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice

A chef has raised more than £7,000 for a Leeds hospice by hosting cooking events on Zoom during lockdown.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 6:00 am
Chef Doug Crampton, 32, hosts at least two sessions a month - raising money for a cause close to his heart

Doug Crampton, 32, trained as a chef in Leeds 15 years ago and is now head chef at the James Martin restaurant in Manchester.

After being unable to work during the first lockdown, Doug decided to teach his friends how to cook while he had more time on his hands.

He launched free Zoom cooking lessons, which quickly grew from six friends attending to dozens of budding chefs logging on at least twice a month.

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Determined to run the events for free, Doug encourages those taking part to donate to Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice - a charity close to his heart.

Doug said: "My sister Jenny was cared for at the hospice before she died four years ago. I’ve always wanted to do something to give back to the hospice for the very special care that they gave to her.

“This seemed the perfect way to honour her memory.”

Doug tests each recipe before the sessions and sends out an ingredients list to all those taking part, before budding chefs follow along in the interactive events.

More than £7,000 has now been raised for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, which has launched an urgent appeal for donations as it suffers from the economic effects of the pandemic.

"The event has just grown and grown beyond our expectations", Doug added.

“We’ve covered a wide range of different cuisines including Greek, Spanish, Vietnamese and Lebanese food.

"We also have vegetarian and vegan options and have done Halloween and Christmas special events. We’ve got some great ideas for Valentine’s Day coming up too.

“The sessions are really interactive. We have a WhatsApp group to share photos of what people have cooked and have a prize for the winner of the best looking dish.

“The event has grown so much on social media that we plan to do this for as long as the lockdown restrictions are in place. Who knows how far it can go? I’m busier than ever!”

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