Budding young chef Oscar Moulding hopes to put a kick on your cracker!

The 14-year-old, who has congenital muscular dystrophy, hopes to raise money for Julia’s House children’s hospice with his special pineapple, ginger and chilli-based chutney. 

Oscar smiles in his wheelchair with friend Mandy

Oscar developed his new chutney recipe with the help of his friend Mandy Neate, who sells her own homemade jams and chutneys through her small business, Little Bag of Herbs.

Mum Alexandra Moulding, from Old Town, Swindon, said, “Oscar’s always had a passion for cooking and would love to pursue a career in catering. Even though he can’t eat that much himself and can only really taste food, he feels like he’s doing something nice for other people.

“Our friend Mandy said, ‘Why don’t I invite Oscar to my kitchen – he can come up with his own recipe and we’ll make it together and sell it for charity.’ On the day, Oscar was so excited and Mandy got him a little chef’s jacket with his name embroidered on it, which was so lovely of her.

Oscar wears his black embroidered chef's jacket

“Oscar chose his own main ingredients for the recipe – pineapple, ginger and chilli – and was completely involved through the whole process. I’m quite a chutney lover and I have to say it’s really yummy. It’s not too spicy so that it will blow your head off, but it’s really flavourful with a bit of a kick. We’ve made about 50 jars initially which we’re confident will sell out quite quickly.”

Oscar, who studies cookery at Crowdys Hill specialist school, said, “I felt really happy making the chutney and the best bit was putting it in the jars and seeing them all lined up. I felt very proud of myself.”

Oscar smiles with mum Alexandra

The teenager has chosen to raise money for Julia’s House children’s hospice because the charity provides care and support for Oscar and his family in their home in Swindon.

Mandy Neate, from Wroughton, said, “I feel honoured to support Oscar in his cookery journey and I hope we can raise lots of money to support Julia’s House. We had a fabulous day bringing Oscar’s chutney to life. He led the way and was absolutely amazing.”

She added, “There were a couple of things we both agreed on – that we didn’t like doing the onions and I ordered way too many pineapples!”

The chutney, which is called Oscar and Julia’s Pineapple Jamboree, will be on sale for £4.50 in a selection of local shops around Swindon and on the Little Bag of Herbs website.