Well, this has been a project and a half! Lawrence Keogh’s a chef I met in June 2007 on his first visit to the Saturday Kitchen set. We hit it off and have been friends ever since. Last May he came to me, saying he needed a grown up! Slightly perturbed I asked why – turns out, the National Kidney Federation had been given a sum of money to update the recipes that they hand out to their members, and Lawrence is their patron.

Well, many might not know but Lawrence is not only an amazing chef, having run Roast in Borough Market and The Wolseley among other restaurants, but a kidney transplant patient too. He’s currently on the wait list for a new kidney, having been back on dialysis for 3 years, after a transplant 20 years ago. Life’s not easy being on dialysis and Lawrence does his utmost to carry on with life as normal, but the disease does have many side effects, insomnia and narcolespy being two of them.

We had a very small budget and quite quickly I realised the enormity of the project – all the recipes needed to have no salt in them, be low in potassium and phosphate, be easily put together as time is always tight for kidney patients spending hours on dialysis, be low in cost, yet still be tasty, nutritious and appealing. No small ask then……

So, a very long story short, plenty of late nights, messy kitchens and blood, sweat and tears later, we’ve finally produced a 60 recipe cook book for the NKF. It’s aimed at people with kidney issues, however it’s also a low fat, low salt and sugar book geared towards every day healthy eating.

We’re doing as much as possible to get it out there, into the public domain by calling on our chef friends who’ve been kind enough to endorse it – Michel Roux Jnr, Tom Kerridge and Brian Turner to name a few! Gregg Wallace kindly wrote the intro and now’s the time to publicise it to the world.

It’s World Kidney Day on Thursday 12th March and we’ve approached lots of chefs, doctors and foodie people to use their social media to tell everyone about it. We could only afford to have 5000 printed, so if you’re first in line, we’ll be able to post one out to you straight away, however, if our approach works, then hopefully there’ll be lots of people ordering copies, in which case it’ll be 3 weeks, as we need to wait for the first 5000 to be sold in order for the charity to have enough money to get the next batch printed! Patience will be rewarded with a cook book full of tasty nutritious recipes, not only for kidney patients, but for the whole family, with the knowledge that you have raised money for a very worthwhile charity run by kidney patient for kidney patients.