Chef hopes to raise £5,000 for Brain Tumour Charity by auctioning cookbook collection

17 March 2023 by
Chef hopes to raise £5,000 for Brain Tumour Charity by auctioning cookbook collection

A chef who was last year diagnosed with a brain tumour is hoping to raise £5,000 for the Brain Tumour Charity by auctioning his entire cookbook collection.

Despite the diagnosis of a grade 4 inoperable brain stem tumour last year, 39-year-old James Connolly is hoping to raise money to help others also affected by brain tumours. Data from the National Cancer Research Institute in 2021 found that brain tumour research represented just 1% of the national spend on cancer.

Connolly has been collecting cookbooks during his 20 years in the industry, during which he has worked at the Savoy as well as Elite Bistros venues Wreckfish and Pinion.

The 150-plus books include those by some of the world's best restaurants and chefs, ranging from unique and out of print books to the more accessible, worth an estimated £4,000. The trove includes the El Bulli collection and Sergio Herman's Sergiology.

"They've meant a great deal to me. Each book has a timestamp of memories for me. This is the biggest thing I can offer," said Connolly.

"While I'm still functional I've got this time to do stuff like this to try and raise some funds and stay positive for my family."

Connolly has so far raised £550 of his £5,000 target, with the prize draw running until 14 April (

TagsChef and Charity
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