Ice Cold Chef to present top dishes

John Joyce took up cooking when his wife Bev developed MS and is about to release a cookbook as the Ice Cold Chef.
John Joyce took up cooking when his wife Bev developed MS and is about to release a cookbook as the Ice Cold Chef.
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A man who had never cooked before his wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis is to present a cookery segment at a national conference.

John Joyce says up to eight years ago he never had to cook a meal as his wife, Bev, took on the role in the kitchen.

John Joyce with his wife Bev.

John Joyce with his wife Bev.

But after the life-changing condition multiple sclerosis (MS) came into their lives he was forced to learn, and he is now preparing to present a short cookery programme at the MS Life event in Manchester next weekend.

And in the summer he will launch his new recipe book for carers.

John, 49, said throughout their marriage, John cleaned the cars and did the gardening while Bev did all the cooking. But when she was diagnosed in 2006, she found it difficult to stand up long enough to cook a meal.

John cooked processed frozen meals for a few nights, but soon decided it was time to learn how to cook with fresh products.

He said: “I asked Bev to teach me, and on the weekends I’d sort her a chair in the kitchen and she’d talk me through cooking some basic meals to see us though the week.

“After six to eight weeks Bev said I didn’t need her help anymore. Now she orders the ingredients through internet shopping and I cook the meals.”

But John, of Beechwood Grove, Bispham, has decided to take his new-found love for cooking a few steps further than cooking in the home, and has launched a fundraising campaign based on his own kitchen experience.

The campaign, Ice Cold Chef – named after a particular tough session in the kitchen when Bev recommended an “ice cold lager” – has seen him share his tips and support to other carers.

He will be doing live demonstrations at MS Life next weekend, cooking chicken kiev and mushroom risotto, and is putting together a book of 150 recipes – some of which have been sent to him by celebrity chefs – including messages of support to carers in the same position as he was.

He added: “I launched it on social media, and now people around the world are following Ice Cold Chef.

“For me it was a case of having heard Bev’s news we could sit in our chairs and wallow over it, or we could make some changes and learn from it. I hope I can inspire other people to adapt to this condition.

“This book is just a way of letting people know they are not alone, and they just need to take each day as it comes.

“We are very proud of ourselves. Bev inspired me to do this and we were both very determined to make this change.”