Fishing For the Soul!
Ceri Keene recently published 'Fishing For Life', which includes recipes from some top chefs in support of the South West Fishing For Life, after recovering from Breast Cancer. She was looking for a hobby that would help with her recovery process and found she had a passion for fly fishing. This is her story:
I was never particularly keen on fish, so if you had said three years ago that I would launch a fish recipe book, I would have laughed – if you had said I would have enjoyed fly fishing as a sport for the last two years, I would have had you certified – and yet here I am.
This book has an odd context; as a result of breast cancer, I was rather unusually, taken up by the charity ‘South West Fishing For Life’. Fly fishing provides corrective post-op exercise and a balm for the soul which I have found very valuable over the last couple of years. Towards the end of my treatment I saw a flyer for the fly-fishing charity and looking for something different I thought I might give it a try. I rang Gillian Payne and went up to the lake for a morning. I found I really enjoyed the sport and loved being out in the fresh air after so many months of lying on a sofa feeling rough. After catching a few fish, and realising that grilling trout was quite nice, but getting pretty boring, I asked several of the other people what they did with the fish, and not getting much inspiration I thought I could design a fly fishing cookbook for the charity. The first chef I contacted had worked at one of the hotels I had designed for, and thinking if he said yes, he’d offer a recipe, I knew other chefs might say yes too.
The project took a year and a half to complete, I printed two thousand books and have sold over eleven hundred copies in only four months – so this book is no slouch! As I managed to get the printing costs sponsored by the National Park here on Exmoor through their Sustainable Development Fund, all proceeds go to the charity.
Contributing Chefs include two of London’s finest – Tom Aikens and Bruce Pool (Chez Bruce), also several top-flite Exmoor-based Chefs as well as fishing fraternity locals, with the whole piece being edited by Jenny Stringer of Leith’s School of Food and Wine – Jenny has been responsible for several of Leith’s bestsellers, including the Leith’s Cookery Bible.
The book is available through many shops in the South West and also online where you can also contact the charity.