The Duke of Cambridge has confessed to a lack of culinary skills in a foreword he has written for a homeless charity’s cookbook.

William described the collection of 120 new recipes from leading chefs and celebrities as “special” and a celebration of the nation’s “amazing community spirit” in caring for the vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic.

His message appears in A Taste Of Home, produced to mark the 40th anniversary of The Passage – the UK’s largest resource centre for homeless and insecurely housed people.

The duke said he is the first to admit he is “not an excellent chef” but wrote that sharing a hot meal can make those experiencing homelessness “feel right at home”.

William is following in the footsteps of his sister-in-law, the Duchess of Sussex, who wrote the foreword for Together – a community cookbook created to help Grenfell families.

A Taste Of Home features 40 starters, 40 main dishes and 40 desserts from contributors including Mary Berry, Cherie Blair, Rory Bremner, Samantha Cameron, David Dimbleby, Stephen Fry, Ken Hom, Nadiya Hussain, Sir Paul McCartney, Andrew Marr, Yotam Ottolenghi, Jon Snow, Nigella Lawson and Rick Stein.

The books also contains “Prince William’s Spaghetti Bolognese” by chef Nour Dakoba, which the duke helped make during a visit to The Passage in central London in February last year.

He prepared carrots in the kitchen and served up lunch to homeless men and women.

A Taste of Home
The Passage’s cookbook, A Taste Of Home (The Passage/PA)

William, who is patron of the charity, first spent time at the organisation with his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1993.

He said in his foreword: “I am the first one to admit that I am not an excellent chef.

“The last time I was allowed into the kitchens at The Passage they very sensibly kept me in the role of sous-chef (aka carrot-chopper).

“On that occasion I ‘made’ a spaghetti bolognaise (recipe on page 101).

“The dish smelt amazing – probably because I didn’t cook it.

“But what struck me most was how sharing a hot meal in the canteen at The Passage makes people who are experiencing homelessness feel right at home.”

The Duchess of Sussex in 2018 with the women behind the cookbook she championed (Ben Stansall/PA)

He praised The Passage for supporting homeless people during the coronavirus outbreak.

“Staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly on the front line, looking after the most vulnerable in society,” he said.

“At the peak of the crisis, they established a mobile Food Hub, providing hot, nutritious meals every day for over 300 people.

“One of the things I will remember from this difficult year is the amazing community spirit and care for the vulnerable shown by our nation.

“A Taste Of Home is a celebration of that wonderful spirit.”

William served lunch during a visit to homelessness charity The Passage in 2019 (Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror/PA)

William added: “I hope that every time you use this special book you are reminded of that spirit; exemplified in The Passage’s ongoing work helping those who are street homeless to find a home for good.”

In 2018, Meghan, who has since quit as a senior working royal, supported the publication of the Together cookbook by the Hubb Community Kitchen, an initiative based near the site of the Grenfell Tower fire in London.

– All profits from A Taste Of Home, which costs £25 and is available from October 15, will go to The Passage.