‘Embarrassingly, it wasn’t my idea,’ admits Steve Holding, owner and chef of The Pig & Pastry. ‘A customer called Karen Turner, who took the photographs for the book, kept saying, “How about doing a cookbook?” and I said, “Don’t be ridiculous!” Then, one day she said, “How about doing a cookbook for charity?” and I thought, “It’s not a bad idea actually.”’
They chose to raise money for Candlelighters, a Yorkshire charity that supports children with cancer and their families. It’s a charity that is close to Steve’s heart. ‘My youngest girl got a brain tumour in 2012 and lost her sight, and she went through chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She was in the LGI (Leeds General Infirmary) for about a year,’ he explains. ‘Candlelighters put a lot of things in the hospital to help kids get through it really. The nurses are brilliant, but with Candlelighters you get support after and play facilities. They just try and make it more tolerable for the kids really.’
The charity raises funds to purchase specialist medical equipment, provide Play Leaders who can help to distract children during their stay, and supply toys for the children while in hospital. They also help families cope practically and emotionally with the changes in their lives, and give hundreds of thousands of pounds to the research and study of children’s cancer.
All profits from sales of The Pig & Pastry Cookbook will be donated to Candlelighters. ‘We’re hoping to raise £12,000 through the books,’ says Steve.
The book went on sale on 27th September, but customers of the café were already putting in their orders for a copy when the news was shared on Facebook in August, hoping that some of their favourite recipes like herby mushrooms, doughnuts and s’mores would be included – they all are.
It has been a labour of love for Steve and Karen, as well as Alexandra Vintila who designed the book, and Justine Brooks who was the editor. All of them volunteered to produce the recipe book, and give up their own time and talents for free.
The Pig & Pastry Cookbook can be bought directly from The Pig & Pastry café, online from Candlelighters’ e-shop, and from the Living North Christmas Fair at York Racecourse from the 12th–15th November.
£20, written by Steve Holding. Published by Pig Publishing. Photography by Karen Turner. Design and layout by Alexandra Vintila. Editor Justine Brooks