'The kindest and sweetest of souls with a heart of gold'

The  Staff Canteen

family, friends and fellow hospitality professionals paid tribute to young chef Luke henderson as he was laid to rest at the weekend, a month after his untimely passing.

The 27 year-old chef, widely admired and loved within and outside of the hospitality world, tragically took his own life in May.

Friends and family came together for the ceremony and shared messages of rememberance on social media.

 

 

When Luke passed away last month, his family launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover the £10,000 expense of repatriating him from Oslo, where he opened his own restaurant last year. Ithelped raise almost £27,000. Luke's family have decided that the excess raised will go to a mental health charity. 

Speaking to The Staff Canteen, Luke's stepbrother, Sam Glover said: "We’d just like a others to know that they aren’t alone and if they’re struggling that there are people out there that will listen and can help. We want this to be Luke’s legacy."

Luke's career spanned from The Hand and Flowers and The Laughing Heart in London to Maeemo in Norway, before he opened a restaurant in Oslo, Imperial, in February last year.

The message on the fundraising page, which you can still donate to here, explains that "Luke in recent years hasn’t been very well mentally and sadly he took his own life.

"We’re not a rich family and We would like to raise £10,000 for the repatriation of his body from Norway. Any help given would be massively appreciated! Thank you." 

An outpouring of messages and donations ensued from friends, family and people who worked with Luke over the years, for a chef who was "loved by so many" and "a loss too great."

Mark Lewis, owner of Hadley Park House said: "We’re devastated at the news of your passing and our thoughts are with your family and friends during these difficult times. You were a rising star in which we were all incredibly proud of your achievements. We will never forget the fond memories we share and will raise a toast to the memories we hold. Kindest regards Mark, Geraldine & Your friends at Hadley Park House Hotel."

Food blogger and good friend of Luke's Anders Husa and Kaitlin Orr sent a donation "To the most talented young chef we knew and the most humble human being we've met," and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias was one of a number of chefs to put out a message on social media in memoriam.

 

 

A second message from Sam Glover followed, in which he said: "We’re absolutely lost for words with the donations we’ve received," he said. 

"This is a horrible situation but what has happened has made us realise how well thought of and much loved Luke was. These donations have lifted a weight off of us. Words cannot describe how grateful we are, the rest of the left over money will be given to a mental health charity. Thank you all so much!"

If this article has affected you in any way and you need someone to talk to, you may find the following 24/7 resources helpful:

The Samaritans Helpline 116 123 -

 - The Burnt Chef Support Service

Counselling, legal advice and support from Hospitality Action

Photo credit: Anders Husa

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st June 2020

'The kindest and sweetest of souls with a heart of gold'