Wounded RAF nurse from Derbyshire in national cooking competition

Nicola Ward with her mentor James Close
Nicola Ward with her mentor James Close
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A wounded RAF nurse from North Derbyshire was due to spend today being mentored by a Michelin-starred chef.

Nicola Ward, who grew up in Dronfield Woodhouse, was being taught how to create a game dish by chef James Close, from Darlington’s The Raby Hunt Restaurant.

Nicola will then have to reproduce it against both the clock and rival competitors.

Nicola, aged 34, suffered brain injuries, delayed seizures and was unable to talk following a car accident in 2010.

She spent time at a Surrey rehabilitation centre, where she retrained her brain and is now back at work as a nurse.

She said: “When I am having a bad day or week, I go into the kitchen and create a nice meal. It helps me focus and gives me some control back into my life.”

The competition has been devised to inspire wounded members of the armed forces to consider a catering career.