By Peter Tolan

When it comes to food and kitchens the Parish Priest at Our Lady of the Assumption in Coventry knows a thing or two.

Fr Louis le Van Hong has got a big reputation in the Diocese for his culinary skills and often prepares specialist dishes from his native Vietnam, or European favourites, for clergy and other guests whom he welcomes to his Presbytery.

So he was the ideal 'celebrity chef' to open the new kitchen facility in the parish hall, on the church site in Tile Hill Lane.

The kitchen, fully equipped for the preparation of hot food with all modern facilities including a double cooker, microwave and dishwasher, was paid for largely by a grant from the Big Lottery Fund of £9,800.

Fr Louis said: “I do enjoy cooking and introduce a lot of Asian dishes from my Vietnam homeland to other priests who may attend meetings here or come to stay. They have always been very well received and I suppose I have gained a bit of a reputation for my cooking.

“It is wonderful to be able to have a new kitchen in the parish hall, which will benefit not only our parishioners but also members of the local community. We have the Big Lottery Fund to thank for making this possible.”

Fr Louis added: “We have a lovely church hall which can hold around 100 people, and now we can use it to its full potential as the old kitchen was outdated.

"There are now opportunities for parishioners and local people to have family celebrations, weddings and wakes, with the provision of hot food. Our own community events, such as our weekly luncheon club, will also benefit.

"It is also a potential source of additional funds which we have not been able to capitalise on in the past.”

Picture captions:

1: Fr Louis (PP), Christine Tolan, Kitchen Manager and Mac Harris, Parish Hall Committee chairman
2: l-r Fr Louis, Maura Titman, Parish Council Chairman, Christine Tolan, Peter Tolan (Finance Committee Chairman) and Mac Harris
3: Fr Louis blesses the new kitchen before some of the parishioners.