Cancer survivor Jake meets culinary hero

Jake Moon with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
Jake Moon with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

A teenager from Banbury had his wish of a lifetime granted when he met chef Raymond Blanc.

Jake Moon, 15, had a wish granted by the Starlight Children’s Foundation to spend time with the world-renowned chef at Le Manoir.

Jake was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in July 2013 and has had an exhausting course of intensive chemotherapy treatments and hospital visits.

Although his treatment left him feeling tired, he is now feeling better and is receiving maintenance treatment where he has chemotherapy every four weeks and takes chemotherapy tablets every day. This course of treatment finishes in August next year.

Jake has always enjoyed cooking and before his diagnosis he cooked all the time, but since starting treatment he has struggled with energy levels. During his time at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, Jake would tell the nurses of his admiration for Mr Blanc, who had visited the hospital’s children’s ward on several occasions. Jake received a get well soon card from Mr Blanc after his father, Wayne, wrote to the chef’s PA.

Starlight contacted Mr Blanc to ask if he could help, so Jake, his brother Charlie, and their parents Helen Kirtland and Wayne Moon were invited to spend the afternoon at Le Manoir in Great Milton.

Jake said: “I had the most fantastic day and really enjoyed meeting Raymond Blanc. He has given me some great tips and I can’t wait to put them into practice.”

Mr Blanc spent almost 90 minutes with Jake, showing him some skills, and gave him two sets of chef whites and some of his signed cookery books.

Jake was invited to return to Le Manoir on his birthday on May 13 to cook with Mr Blanc. The family had afternoon tea, were shown around the gardens and were chauffeur driven home in a Jaguar.

Jake has now secured a place at catering college for September.