Veterans cook Christmas meal for 70 in Catterick

Darlington and Stockton Times: Craig Donaghue (left) from Middlesbrough who was medically discharged from the army in February fills pear and almond tarts with franginepane under the instruction of chef Simon Crannage (right) from Swinton Park Hotel. Craig Donaghue (left) from Middlesbrough who was medically discharged from the army in February fills pear and almond tarts with franginepane under the instruction of chef Simon Crannage (right) from Swinton Park Hotel.

A DONATION of a dozen turkeys to a Help for Heroes recovery centre turned into a lesson on how to cook a Christmas meal – for 70 people.

With 12 turkeys given by British Turkey and 45kg of vegetables from Delifresh, the only thing left was someone to cook them all at the Phoenix Centre’s Christmas dinner in Catterick.

Simon Crannage, head chef at Swinton Park Hotel, near Masham, visited the centre with his staff to teach veterans how to cook Christmas dinner on a grand scale and create the starters.

Recovery centre staff then acted as waiters.

Cooking the meal were Yorkshire Regiment veterans Craig Donaghue from Middlesbrough and Paul Fee from Catterick, who peeled vast quantities of carrots, swede and sprouts before preparing turkeys and then piping frangipane into tartlets.

Christmas stockings handed out at the end of the event contained gifts donated by businesses and individuals.

Michaela Slay, Phoenix House events co-ordinator, said: “The whole party was a real community effort, with so many people going out of their way to ensure their ‘heroes’ know that people care and have not forgotten the sacrifices they made."

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6:57pm Thu 26 Dec 13

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