A chef from Aylsham is currently in Calais helping to feed thousands of refugees

Aylsham Chef Blaise Vasseur who's cooking for refugees in Calais.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Aylsham Chef Blaise Vasseur who's cooking for refugees in Calais.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A local chef has swapped north Norfolk for France to help feed thousands of refugees.

He is also hoping to raise more money for a truck to send the food further afield to other European cities with the same situation.

Blaise Vasseur, from Dyes Loke, Aylsham, spent a week over Christmas with hundreds of other volunteers in Calais and Dunkirk.

The kitchen that is helping to feed thousands was set up in October last year by four London-based volunteers; Steve Bedlam, Paula Gallardo, Sam Jones and Janie Mac.

Mr Vasseur, who works for international touring company Eat to the Beat, said: 'They were my old friends who set it up and they were putting the call out there to ask if any chefs wanted to help out.

'I am used to cooking for big numbers of people and I know that the situation out there is a borderline disaster.'

After returning on December 29, it was not long before he decided to head out again and he has now left to go and help.

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Mr Vasseur, 44, said: 'It feels so good to help out, I need to get on and work back home but you get emotionally attached and just want to keep helping more.

'The volunteers are amazing out there. The jungle in Calais is running okay, with doctors and food, but the site in Dunkirk is awful.

'There was a flood of water, hardly any food and lots of the refugees have scabies. They are also burning tyres instead of wood just to get warm.'

Some of the volunteers over in France include the head chef of Michelin-starred restaurant St Johns Wood in London and various chefs from Jamie's Italian.

They are now wanting to raise £20,000 for a truck that will enable them to cook more food in Calais and deliver more to those in Dunkirk.

Mr Vasseur said: 'We are currently getting one meal a day to Dunkirk, but we want to give more. If it wasn't for all the volunteers down there, they'd all be starving.'

Mr Vasseur, who grew up in Saxthorpe, has previously worked at events such as the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.