I have been cooking for 10 years and am an extreme food lover. My years in the industry have been extremely varied and have seen me work as a food writer, chef and television presenter. My take on food is edgy and refreshing and has seen me meet some amazing people along the way.
I recently hosted a star-studded private dinner party at Boy George's house which was incredible, if not slightly overwhelming! I was rather star struck on the night but thoroughly enjoyed being back in the kitchen cooking delicious, healthy food. Boy George and I are both patrons for the Hepatitis C Trust and the Great British C Party was a way to raise awareness for the trust and the amazing work they have been doing for hepatitis C awareness.
Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus that attacks the liver, so a 'liver friendly' diet is extremely important. A healthy diet that is rich in foods such as lean meats, fish, artichokes and colourful vegetables can mean fewer symptoms, fewer visits to the doctor and a more active, enjoyable lifestyle for hepatitis C sufferers.
I find it incredible that the liver is one of the only organs that can repair itself but it tends to get a hammering around the festive season when we tend to let loose a little and enjoy those foods we would normally say no to. Unfortunately the rich and fatty foods that normally go hand in hand with Christmas are like poison to this vital organ and our bodies get overloaded with them this time of the year. Luckily though there are ways to ease the damages and it is my aim to show the world what the best foods are to help restore liver health. Eating well for your liver was the key theme for the dinner and it was my aim to highlight food that is both healthy and delicious.
For my Christmas themed C Party menu I decided to put a slight twist on the traditional festive foods and went for a five course vegetarian feast. It was challenging but a good way to show that healthy food can be both exciting and liver friendly. Boy George praised my posh cauliflower as the dish of the night, simple yet effective.
The night was a great success, a fantastic way to gather together, have fun, eat good food and celebrate the fantastic work The Hepatitis C trust has been doing. Joining Boy George at the dinner table was BAFTA winning actress Vicky McClure, fashion designer Pam Hogg, style guru Daniel Lismore, luxury fashion accessories designer Beatrix Ong, top music journalist Miranda Sawyer, DJ Jodie Harsh, actor Jonathan Owen, raw food chef Jeni Cook, her daughter singer-songwriter Hollie Cook with her boyfriend Charlie from Californian indie band, The Crocodiles, and of course, another Hep C Trust charity patron, Sadie Frost.
I would encourage anyone thinking about hosting a 'C party' to just give it a go. You can find the menu for my party at Boy Georges below to give you inspiration for your own party, or if you go onto the Hepatitis C Trust website you will find menu cards prepared by some of the country's top chefs including Mark Hix, Rommy Gill, Peter Gordon and Henry Dimbleby. They have put together some fantastic liver-enhancing recipes that are well worth getting inspiration from.
Whether you go for a five course menu like mine or for a simpler option, the whole point is to just have fun and celebrate good food, with good friends and to appreciate that everything you do today makes a difference for tomorrow. My advice is to eat good food, take care of your liver and live a healthier tomorrow.
If you feel you might be at risk of hepatitis C, I would encourage you to get tested by your local GP or health service. The Health Protection Agency estimates that there are 216,000 people with hepatitis C in the UK, but less than half have been diagnosed. If undiagnosed, hepatitis C can cause cirrhosis and liver cancer. Yet diagnosed, it can be treated and cured.
There is no vaccination but early treatment can successfully clear the virus in around half of patients and on-going infection can be managed. A healthy liver friendly is just one way to go about changing your lifestyle but for more advice or information you can contact the Hep C Trust helpline on 0845 223 4424 or visit their website at hepctrust.org.uk.
For more information on how to host a Great British C Party event, or for menu ideas, please visit
Crudités. Sauce gribiche.
Tomato water. Horseradish foam.
Roast beets. Goats cheese cream. Pickled walnut.
Smoke roast cauliflower. Cheese fondue. Crispy onions. Truffle.
Iced berries. Hot white chocolate sauce.
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