Prince William admits it has been a ‘difficult year’ in foreword for homeless charity cookbook

Prince William had admitted it has been a ‘difficult year’ in a foreword penned for a new charity cookbook.

The Duke of Cambridge, 38, wrote an emotional introduction for the upcoming recipe book which marks the 40th anniversary of homeless charity The Passage.

Admitting he is ‘not an excellent chef’, he also reminisced about a spaghetti Bolognese dish he helped cook on a visit to the charity’s headquarters last year. 

A Taste of Home commemorates four decades of its charitable work and all profits will go directly towards supporting people who are street homeless. 

The Duke of Cambridge, 38, wrote an emotional introduction for homeless charity The Passage's upcoming recipe book which marks the organisation's 40th anniversary. Pictured on a visit to the charity in February 2019

The Duke of Cambridge, 38, wrote an emotional introduction for homeless charity The Passage’s upcoming recipe book which marks the organisation’s 40th anniversary. Pictured on a visit to the charity in February 2019

The 120 recipes in the book have been donated by celebrities and famous chefs including Mary Berry, Cherie Blair, Rory Bremner, Samantha Cameron, David Dimbleby, Stephen Fry, Ken Hom, Nadiya Hussain, Paul McCartney, Andrew Marr, Yotam Ottolenghi, Jon Snow and Rick Stein. 

The majority of the recipies have not been published before. 

His Royal Highness has been Patron of The Passage since 2019 and first visited as a child in 1993 with his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

In his foreword, the Duke admitted it has been a ‘difficult’ year, but one of the things he will remember is the ‘amazing community spirit and care for the vulnerable shown by our nation’.

Prince William, pictured with his wife Kate Middleton during a visit to Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery in East London last month, admitted he is 'not an excellent chef' in the recipe book's foreword

Prince William, pictured with his wife Kate Middleton during a visit to Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery in East London last month, admitted he is ‘not an excellent chef’ in the recipe book’s foreword

‘A Taste of Home is a celebration of that wonderful spirit,’ he wrote. ‘It also marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of The Passage, in a year which has turned out to be one of the most pivotal in their history.’

He also noted how ‘precious’ it is to have a place to call home, adding: ‘All of us will have felt the strain of staying in our homes during the Coronavirus lockdown. 

‘But for those without a place to call home, the pandemic has been even more frightening.

‘Thankfully The Passage made sure there was a route off the streets and into safety. Staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly on the frontline, looking after the most vulnerable in society. 

Foreword to A Taste of Home by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, 2020 

A Taste of Home commemorates four decades of The Passage's charity work

A Taste of Home commemorates four decades of The Passage’s charity work

I am the first one to admit that I am not an excellent chef. The last time I was allowed into the kitchens at The Passage they very sensibly kept me in the role of sous-chef (aka carrot-chopper). On that occasion I ‘made’ a spaghetti bolognaise (recipe on page 101). The dish smelt amazing – probably because I didn’t cook it. But what struck me most was how sharing a hot meal in the canteen at The Passage makes people who are experiencing homelessness feel right at home.

Having a place to call home is precious. All of us will have felt the strain of staying in our homes during the Coronavirus lockdown. But for those without a place to call home, the pandemic has been even more frightening.

Thankfully The Passage made sure there was a route off the streets and into safety. Staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly on the frontline, looking after the most vulnerable in society. At the peak of the crisis, they established a mobile Food Hub, providing hot, nutritious meals every day for over 300 people.

One of the things I will remember from this difficult year is the amazing community spirit and care for the vulnerable shown by our nation. A Taste of Home is a celebration of that wonderful spirit. It also marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of The Passage, in a year which has turned out to be one of the most pivotal in their history.

I hope that every time you use this special book you are reminded of that spirit; exemplified in The Passage’s ongoing work helping those who are street homeless to find a home for good.

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‘At the peak of the crisis, they established a mobile Food Hub, providing hot, nutritious meals every day for over 300 people.’ 

In addition to recipes from over 100 well-known individuals, the book contains stories and recipes from people who have been helped by the charity’s services over the years, shining a light on the challenges that they have been able to overcome with the right guidance, opportunities and resources. 

The recipe for the spaghetti bolognaise from chef Nour Dakoba that Prince William helped make during his visit to The Passage last year is also included. 

‘The dish smelt amazing – probably because I didn’t cook it’ the Duke wrote. 

Prince William, pictured with Kate and their children Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte, meeting Sir David Attenborough in the gardens of Kensington Palace last month, admitted it has been a 'difficult year' in his foreword for the charity cookbook

Prince William, pictured with Kate and their children Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte, meeting Sir David Attenborough in the gardens of Kensington Palace last month, admitted it has been a ‘difficult year’ in his foreword for the charity cookbook

‘But what struck me most was how sharing a hot meal in the canteen at The Passage makes people who are experiencing homelessness feel right at home.’

The book has been compiled by Passage volunteer and former publisher Kyle Cathie and will be published on 15 October 2020. 

Established in 1980, The Passage is the UK’s largest resource centre for homeless and insecurely housed people and has helped over 130,000 people in crisis through its resource centre, homelessness prevention projects and two innovative accommodation services. 

Yesterday Kensington Palace shared a video of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge being introduced to an adorable koala during a video call to learn about the lasting impact of the Australian wildfires. 

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