Sudden death of much-loved chef

Philippa James, who has died aged 53
Philippa James, who has died aged 53

Tributes have been paid to one of Lancashire’s best known chefs.

Philippa James-Doherty, known as Philippa James, died suddenly on Christmas Eve aged 53, having battled a long illness.

Born on the Wirral she moved to Lancashire as a child, and became a champion of the county’s fare with cooking demonstrations throughout the region.

Her love of cooking began as a child, and after a career in sales and marketing, she returned to her passion for food, opening a deli and tea room in Eccleston.

Then, after time cooking on yachts in the Caribbean, she returned home to Eccleston and started cooking at a farmers’ market. She went on to win a Producer of the Year Award and a Gold at The Great Taste Award for Philippa’s Lancashire Tea Bread.

As well as running her own cookery school in Mawdesley, she worked as a consultant to food businesses, including Booths, delivered Healthy Living courses and Second World War rationing talks with school children.

Her husband Kevin said: “She was bubbly and upbeat - people called her Tigger like the character in Winnie The Pooh.

“She was also very kind-hearted and made time for everyone. She even had Christmas presents to give to some of the older people in the village the day she died.”

Philippa was a regular guest on BBC Lancashire, worked as food editor for Lancashire Life. She starred on television - she made her Lancashire tortilla with presenter, Paul Martin, on ‘Flog It!’, was a judge on The ‘F’ Word, and assisted production companies with research into the history of Lancashire’s food culture.

Her funeral takes place at St Mary’s Church, Eccleston, on Monday, January 18 at 2.30pm and afterwards at the Eccleston Institute.