Tim Bilton, former chef-proprietor of the Butcher's Arms in Hepworth, Yorkshire, pressed on with the recent opening of his new venture, the Spiced Pear in Hepworth, despite being diagnosed with eye cancer, it has emerged.
He is now in recovery after the diagnosis, just days after starting work on the Spiced Pear, which opened 12 weeks ago.
The condition was only discovered after he asked his GP to take a look at a mark on his eye during a routine appointment for a back injury sustained during the restaurant move.
An appointment last week confirmed that the cancer had not spread.
Eye cancer, or ocular melanoma, is very rare, with NHS figures putting the number of cases at 500 a year. Prognosis for individuals whose cancer is treated before it spreads is very good.
The chef admitted that despite the initial shock, he had no plans to slow down. "My first thought was, ‘I haven't got time for this!' In relation to the restaurant, it has only made me more positive, and want to go even faster," he said.
He added that he hoped his story would encourage busy chefs to pay more attention to their health
The Spiced Pear serves locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients, including the best-selling slow-cooked brisket, homemade ice-cream, and an array of rarer spirits and wines, while a 1940s-style tearoom serves breakfast and afternoon tea throughout the day.