Craig Mather, chef at Ramsgate's The Empire Room, puts op recovery down to food at Margate's QEQM

A chef who underwent emergency surgery has put his recovery down to good hospital food.

Craig Mather had to have an urgent procedure after his appendix burst, leaving him bed-bound at Margate’s QEQM Hospital for 11 days.

The 31-year-old, who is head chef at Ramsgate’s The Empire Room, was also put in intensive care as he caught pneumonia.

Craig was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother [QEQM] hospital in Margate at the beginning of January with severe stomach pains and had an emergency appendectomy. Complications meant that doctors struggled to control the infection and Craig spent 11 days in hospital, followed by weeks of recuperation at home. He is not expected to be able to return to the kitchen fully until late March.

Unable to eat solid food for nine days, Craig described the QEQM hospital food as, “Amazing, substantial, traditional and nutritional, rather than gastronomic, which definitely started to help me feel better and aided my recovery,” he said.

Mr Mather added there was a range of ingredients used for dishes from meat to fish and salads so everyone was catered for.

Mr Mather was admitted on Saturday, January 14, and was not discharged until Wednesday, January 25.