Marianne Lumb, Former MasterChef: The Professionals Finalist

I jumped at the chance to take part in the 5th DEBRA Great Chefs Dinner 2020 when Michel Roux Jr. kindly asked me back in 2019 (the last time I cooked with Michel was over 10 years ago on Professional Masterchef!). Not only would I be cooking with world class chefs (and esteemed friends) but I would be supporting an incredible charity in the process.

I first learned about epidermolysis bullosa (EB) some time ago and was astonished at the sheer determination and strength of the families and those living with EB and how such a life changing condition had no cure. When I first started out as a chef I had to learn pretty quickly how to work under pressure. I had to demonstrate discipline at all times – I still do twenty years later. But this is nothing compared to the amazing bravery and courage people with EB relentlessly show. The constant pain and the mental and emotional burden must be exhausting. So for me, raising awareness of EB is crucial. So I am raring to get into the kitchen at The Landau.

We have some seriously talented chefs cooking this year. It’s fantastic this event alone has raised over £270,000 for DEBRA UK to date. The money from this evening will support DEBRA’s Fight EB Campaign which looks to find new ways to alleviate the debilitating symptoms of pain, itch, open wounds and mental health difficulties which for those living with EB is part of daily life. I’m hoping all the guests tonight will dig deep to support this remarkable charity so DEBRA UK can work towards finding a cure.

- Marianne Lumb, Former MasterChef: The Professionals Finalist