A CHEF has swapped kitchen utensils for a keyboard to write about his “tumultuous journey” living with diabetes.

David Green, of Coach Road, Alresford, has published an autobiography reflecting on his life experiences and it is packed with specially-adapted recipes.

The 53-year-old, now retired, looks back on the challenges and problems he encountered during his long career, reliving the highs and lows in maintaining day-to-day normality.

‘Happy Birthday!…You’re Diabetic’ took two years to produce.

“I wrote it primarily with other diabetics in mind,” said Mr Green, whose last chef position was at Beth Chatto Gardens in Elmstead Market.

“I want to share my experiences based on the years of knowledge I’ve gained.

“I also want to send fellow diabetics a message - that it’s possible to live an active, happy, interesting, exciting and near normal life.

“However, at the same time, diabetes must be obeyed.

“If not, there will be consequences, for sure.

“I’m living proof of that, as my biography reveals, exploring the highs, lows and lifestyle changes I had to make, not to mention the effect it had on family and friends.”

Former Colchester Institute student Mr Green learnt his trade during a three-year catering course and apprenticeship at the renowned Connaught Hotel in London.

However, his life and career changed forever when he was diagnosed with type one diabetes on his 25th birthday.

That was nearly three decades ago.


Recipe for success - chef David Green has published an autobiography called ‘Happy Birthday!…You’re Diabetic’

“Diabetes obviously had a massive effect on my life,” said Mr Green, who is married to Zeliha.

“Being an insulin-dependent professional chef has been a tumultuous journey and, back when I was diagnosed, the medication, treatment and systems to treat it weren’t as advanced as they are today.

“Before my diagnosis, I had the usual symptoms of lethargy and constant thirst, so decided to visit my GP.

“My first reactions were fear and panic, but they were eased by the diabetes team at Colchester Hospital.

“The staff there explained every detail of the disease and were absolutely brilliant.

“When I first returned to work, the most difficult thing was planning meal times around my chef schedule.

“I worked in a hotel and therefore was always working during normal meal times.

“But I’m easy going and flexible, so it wasn’t too much of a problem.

“One benefit was that by working in a kitchen, there was always food at hand if I needed something.”


The front cover of David's book

Mr Green’s career took him far and wide, including London’s Mayfair, Canada, Wales, the Lake District and Norfolk.

However, he has deep roots in north Essex.

His parents also live in Alresford and all his extended family live in or around Colchester.

“I’m fortunate to be able to say I’m retired,” he said.

“I worked hard as a chef and it was always my goal to retire early.

“It was also a goal to write this book, about my career and travels and how diabetes changed my life.

“It’s taken two years, from conception to publishing, and features more than 70 recipes.

“I’m very proud of it and never thought I’d achieve something this big which is available globally.

“More importantly, I hope it helps, entertains and interests many diabetics, their families and friends.

“Because my story spans almost 30 years, I wanted the recipes to mirror that, to illustrate the changing fashions and trends of the food industry.

“I’ve adapted each recipe, if the reader wants a healthier version or to make it diabetic friendly.”

‘Happy Birthday!…You’re Diabetic’ retails at £23.25 (plus P&P if bought online).

If bought from publisher ShieldCrest’s website, the price is £17.50 (plus P&P).