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Our Lockdown Cookbook by The Students of the ASD Base
A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion


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First of all, when I picked up this book it made me smile instantly!  The front cover is beautifully colourful with some fabulous quirky illustrations by Jack D. Evans, with a lovely clear bold heading at the top.  I don’t know about you, but I’m always drawn to a book initially by the front cover, .. and then I always turn to the back for the synopsis..

The back cover displays some truly admirable people, greatly respected for their efforts and contribution in their own fields in society.  Great advocates I thought, and it was inspiring to read their thoughts and acknowledgements for the cookbook content.

The foreword of this book is written by Mrs Esther Nicolaou; the ASD Base Manager of Cwmbran High School.  She explains the ethos behind the book, how it came about during lockdown, and what it represents.  I love the way she details how the students used the time and developed new skills – and forgive the pun; but the ‘proof is in the pudding’ of their new skills in this fabulous cookbook!

The book shares some amazing recipes from a group of ASD children. ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder, i.e. Autism as most commonly known.

These fabulous children have turned a negative – been stuck at home in lockdown – to a resounding positive! How cool is that?!

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Lockdowns have been a strange time for all.  A time where most have been able to reflect on their lives, and try something different.

Those with autism and their families have experienced highs and lows in lockdown, just as anybody else has.

Here are a group of amazing talented pupils using this time to create something which is really rather special.

We sat down as a family and went through the cookbook together, discussing and sharing our comments.  Our son has autism and ADHD so we were interested in his feedback – he smiled the whole way through it. 

He said the front cover illustrations made him happy as it reminded him of the animated film ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’!  He actually smiled the whole way through reading the book, and he liked seeing the photos of each person along with their name.

We each struggled to choose a favourite recipe as they all sound so great!

We loved the way the book shared safety kitchen rules at the start, something lots of cookbooks forget, so a big thumbs up for this!

Also we thought it was brilliantly thought out including a list of equipment that might be needed, what a great idea!

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The cookbook is clear, and laid out in an easy user friendly way.  Each page has the students name, photo, recipe title, with a list of ingredients, step by step method, and a photo of the finished dish.

All too often cookbooks are too full of written information lacking interest, and lacking a photo of the finished article.  This cookbook shone in all of these areas, and having the recipe authors name with their photo makes the book more personable and relatable.  It’s difficult to choose just one favourite recipe as there is something for everyone.

A definite success, and a cookbook that’s a winner in our eyes.  Well done to all the students who worked so hard, and delivered on a challenge to learn new skills during a difficult time in lockdown for the whole Country. 

You really have produced a fabulous cookbook that would inspire and motivate anyone to get cooking. 

Keep up the great work, you and your cookbook are brilliant!


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