A few weeks ago Raffaella Baruzzo and I met, when she donated a gorgeous hamper of chocolates to my work raffle we held in support of MCS. As we talked about charitable causes, she mentioned one called FoodCycle. I had not heard of them, but I was familiar with a similar concept, FareShare. Volunteering at their Bermondsey warehouse some time ago, I was shocked to see the amount and the quality of the ‘surplus’ food they receive from supermarkets and redistribute to charities. The food would otherwise go to landfill. Shocking, appalling, frankly absurd.
Held over 4 days in the cosy Fleet Street Bakery, Forgotten Feast was, well a feast, of forgotten, left over and unsellable food.
While we waited for everyone to turn up, we sipped a prosecco and tasted some nibbles (loved the courgette fritters) while the enthusiastic FoodCycle team introduced the evening and our chef, Tom Hunt. I was immediately smiling – this is exactly the sort of events I want to spend my money on. Over 80% of the food prepared for our feast was recycled or saved from landfill. Tom was very passionate and is clearly very keen on sustainability and against waste.
To try and avoid surplus food from going to landfill is a fantastic concept and charities such as Food Cycle and Fare Share are thankfully tackling the problem.
There is still loads to be done, but raising awareness by running food related, fun, events is surely a good way of hitting the target.
After the introduction and the menu description, we went downstairs and took our seats, supper club style. With us a bunch of friendly (and vegan!) Canadians. We were in for a good night.
The first course was probably my favourite.
Mackerel, left over from an event, which Tom had pickled and served with pickled carrots, herbs and garlic flowers. It was stunning, and so light.
This was followed by the mains, which were just as good. ‘Porchetta’ made with unwanted pork cuts (head for example) and served carpaccio-like; Sustainable Pollack with mussels and sea greens such as samphire.
Plenty of sides such as grilled courgettes with spicy yogurt and roasted carrots, bright tomatoes, roasted peppers, field mushrooms, accompanied by freshly baked sourdough.
It was all delicious and plentiful.
Finally, the dessert which was an intense, rich chocolate tart with caramelised beetroot. Perfect end to such a fun, filling and rewarding meal.