Skip to main content

Masterchef Star Gets Cooking Tips From Durham's Older People

16th Gorffennaf 2014

MasterChef star and celebrity chef John Torode cooked up a storm as he joined older people from Age UK Co Durham’s Come Eat Together project at a special lunch today (Tuesday).

The Australian-born TV presenter and restaurateur visited the charity’s monthly dining circle in East Stanley where he dished out top marks to their campaign to be named the UK’s Best Health project in this year’s National Lottery Awards.

Come Eat Together is appealing for public votes as they seek to win a £2,000 cash prize and have their work celebrated at the star-studded National Lottery Awards on BBC One in September. The project aims to improve older people’s diets and allow them to cook and enjoy healthy food together through a series of lunch clubs and dining circles.

John joined volunteers in the kitchen before enjoying a traditional wholesome north-east meal of mince dumplings, mash and fresh vegetables with Eton Mess for dessert with local older people.

He said: “A healthy and nutritious diet is crucially important at all stages of life. But Come Eat Together is so much more than just cooking.

“It was delightful to see how cooking and dining brings so many people together and can help combat isolation and loneliness amongst older people.

“Come Eat Together gets top marks from me – their food was delicious and their company even better. National Lottery players can be proud to have supported their work.

Harriet Gibbon, Chief Executive of Age UK County Durham, added: “We were delighted to have John Torode with us today. Our lunch clubs and dining circles are tremendous social occasions and an extremely important part of people’s lives. Many older people are lonely but they put on a brave face.

“Come Eat Together provides a vital network which allows older people to live an independent and active lifestyle whilst improving their ability to access, grow, cook and enjoy healthy food together.

“We hope the public will recognize the work we carry out and vote for us to be named the UK’s Best Health Project.”

To vote for Come Eat Together, please visit or telephone 0844 836 9699 and follow the campaign on twitter: hashtag #NLAwards. Voting runs until midnight on Wednesday 23 July.

There are seven projects competing for votes across seven categories, reflecting the main areas of National Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health, environment, education and voluntary/charity.

In addition to securing their place at the National Lottery Awards show, the project with the highest number of votes in each category will receive a £2,000 cash prize and an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy.

Nodiadau i olygyddion

Notes to Editors

Pics by Doug Moody

Caption 1 MasterChef star John Torode cooks up a storm in the Come Eat Together kitchen with Age UK Co Durham volunteers Enid Dent and Margaret Jobson. John Torode was visiting the project in East Stanley as they attempt to be win the Best Health project in the National Lottery Awards

Caption 2 MasterChef star John Torode is served up a traditional North East Dish of mince dumplings and potatoes by Age UK Co Durham volunteer Margaret Jobson as part of his visit to their Come Eat Together project, a finalist in the National Lottery Awards. Also pictured is Lillian Osborne, a regular diner at the Come Eat Together lunch club in East Stanley.

Come Eat Together received £1,145,872 of National Lottery funding from the BIG Lottery Fund.

Calls cost no more than 5p from a BT landline. Calls from other networks may vary, calls from mobiles could cost considerably more. Callers are advised to check with their telephone network provider to be certain of the cost. No profit will be made from the cost of the phone vote by The National Lottery

All voting will be independently adjudicated and verified by Electoral Reform Services

For further information please contact The National Lottery Awards:
Ruairi O’Kane on 07788 612804 or email Ruairi.o’