If you saw our video that we put up on Youtube on Wednesday, you are on the right track to helping cut down food wastage across the UK. If not, I advise you to go and watch it here. Last week, Smoke & Salt, OLIO - the food sharing experience and The Food Chain teamed up for a one-off lunch using ingredients and scraps of ingredients to create a multi-course lunch for ten lucky guests...
R. and I have been wanting to do this lunch for about six months now. We have been following the growth and success of OLIO for the better part of a year and we had put together plans with the team there to put on a no wastage lunch for a while. As you can imagine, OLIO took off in that time and expanded its reach outside of London and therefore it took some time for us to finally have the chance to collaborate. If you still haven't watched that video yet, go and do it - it explains the OLIO app perfectly.
We are also grateful to The Food Chain, a HIV charity whose roots are in helping people suffering from HIV and AIDS to get a healthy, nutritious diet. The Food Chain have a fully functioning kitchen and dining room at their headquarters near St. Pancras that they kindly allowed us to cook in (provided we cooked a little extra!). For more information and to see how you can get involved,visit their website.
We had worked out everything - the guests were booked in, the space was ready, everyone was on board from OLIO - the only thing that we had no idea about was what we were going to cook! Our good friend Coralie likened it to the mixed bag of goodies on that institution of a show - Ready, Steady, Cook!; and that's exactly what it felt like. R. and I sat in a cafe for a good while the evening before, we had collected some cheese from OLIO, we had some beef and honey from Jon Cox over at The Crunch, I had salvaged some broccoli hearts from the bin of a corporate caterer and R. provided some potatoes and frozen venison from our previous pop-up event at the Elmore Jam (video of that pop-up here).
Let me take you through the final menu we cooked on the day...
Soda Bread made with our excess Bicarb and Imbhams Farm flour samples, Whipped Butter
Chicken soup made with Roast Dinner scraps, seared Mushrooms and a reduction of Soy and Salt
Leftover Puffed Tapioca crisps, Jon Cox's pulled roast beef
Smoke & Salt pop-up Venison Poutine with old potatoes, Patrick's cheese and Veg Scrap Gravy
Salted Haddock, Hot-Smoked and served with charred Broccoli Hearts, Herb Stem pesto and a Hoppin' John inspired by Sean Brock and executed with Imbham Farms Grain Samples
Caramelized flatmates' old bananas, Shards of crispy brown Hovis bread and salvaged yoghurt
Patrick's Stilton sourced from OLIO, grapes and last scraps of Hovis and Soda Bread
All in all I think we did pretty well considering we started planning at 9pm the evening before and started cooking at 10am on the day for lunchtime! It makes me think can we start hosting no wastage dinners as a regular thing? Would people be up for something like that? And would people actually pay to attend? Get in touch if you're as passionate about wastage in our food chain as us, it is easier to fight these issues together! A.