Volunteering in the surplus food space

It is estimated that globally, we waste one third of all food produced across the world and yet there are millions of people struggling to afford a meal. There are many organisations out there who are making use of the excessive quantity of surplus food and are providing hot meals for anyone in need

Ever since posting about FoodCycle I've received lots of questions about how people can get involved. Here is a list of volunteering opportunities in the world of food waste & cooking in local communities. 

It's not all soups and stews - plantain chips, wontons, meringue brownies, pasta bake, noodles, strawberry cake & surplus food

FoodCycle

FoodCycle's mission is to reduce food waste and combat social isolation by providing weekly cooked meals in local communities. There are now 38 hubs across the UK so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. The sign up is very simple, sign up online, watch a video on food hygiene and safety, complete quiz about this and you're done. You can now go and volunteer at any of the FC hubs.

The sessions are split up into different roles - hosting and cooking. The cooking starts with a pick up at a local grocers or supermarket. You will be collecting surplus food that these stores can no longer sell but are still safe to eat. From here you travel to the hub where you will be cooking and serving the food. There is about 2 hours to turn around this random assortment of fruits and vegetables into a three-course meal. You will decide on what to cook and then start cooking! Food is served to anyone. There are no barriers to accessing a meal at FoodCycle. Anyone who comes in is served a meal, no questions asked. There's some brilliant but shocking statistics that FC share in their yearly impact report. Here are just a few: in 2017, FC saved nearly 100 million tonnes of surplus food, volunteers donated 55,000 hours of their time and  x number of hours. Social isolation has a huge affect on everyday mental and physical wellbeing, FC is just one solution to this, with a 78% return rate, guests and volunteers alike have the chance to sit down and enjoy a meal together. 

Get involved here.

I also wanted to share some other fantastic projects around the UK. I'm not able to give first hand experience but I've heard great things from others. Please let me know in the comments if you have anything to add!

LONDON

City Harvest- multiple volunteer roles available including sorting food donations, deliveries plus photography, marketing, social media and so many more

FEAST!  cooking from surplus food in Islington and Kilburn

The Felix Project - collects surplus and redistribute it to different charities, they need packers, drivers and cyclists/walkers 

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
 

The Junk Food Project - a network of 'pay as you feel' cafes across the UK. They need volunteers to cook and host guests at their meals. The projects are run separately so there's likely different roles in different areas

Fareshare - apply to pick/pack or deliver surplus food to local charities in your area

Olio - volunteer to become a Food Waste Hero. Collect surplus food from your local cafes and restaurants and redistribute to people who can use it

The People's Kitchen in Newcastle offers a huge range of services including transforming surplus food into daily meals for the local community

Brighton & Hove Food Project - a directory of local projects

 

Look out for future blog posts about ideas for cooking with surplus food and leftovers, alternative places to shop and more thoughts on sustainability and environmental impact of the food industry. 

Seasonal Series : Blackberries

IN SEASON : JULY - SEPTEMBER

PARTNER WITH : THYME, MASCARPONE, LEMON, BAY LEAF, ROSEMARY, APPLE, PEACH, BERRIES, GOATS CHEESE, MINT, VANILLA, STAR ANISE

L to R : Blackberry picking, Lemon & Olive Oil Cake, Pizza, Friands, Cordial, Blondies, Pavlova

TRIED & TESTED

BLACKBERRY & ROSEMARY CORDIAL

Simmer 900g of blackberries with 500ml of water in a saucepan over a low heat for approximately 5. Use a masher or the back of a spoon to extract all of the juice. Pour the liquid through a sieve back into the pan. Add 300g of granulated sugar and 10g citric acid* and simmer for 5-10 minutes until all of the sugar is dissolved. Pour into sterilised bottles*, add a sprig of rosemary* to each bottle and seal. This recipe makes around 1.2L of cordial. Mix into sparkling water, plain kombucha or cocktails. 

* Use the juice of 1 lemon if you don't have citric acid. Citric acid can be purchased online or in pharmacies.
* To sterilise your bottles, put them through a dishwasher cycle or wash in hot soapy water, rinse and pop them in the oven for 15-20 mins at 150C
* Try this recipe with a sprig of thyme or a couple of star anise

BLACKBERRY FRIANDS - ADAPTED FROM SWEET (COOKBOOK FROM OTTOLENGHI & HELEN GOH)

I followed the recipe but added bay leaves instead of the star anise

BLACKBERRY PIZZA - INSPIRED BY AN INSTAGRAM POST FROM ROSIE BIRKETT (@ROSIEFOODIE)

I made a half white / half wholemeal pizza base and added goats cheese, sautéed kale, caramelised onions and fresh blackberries 

BLACKBERRY, LEMON & OLIVE OIL CAKE - AN EK BAKERY SEASONAL SPECIAL

BLACKBERRY, HAZELNUT & WHITE CHOCOLATE BLONDIES

White chocolate and muscovado sugar blondies with fresh blackberries, toasted hazelnuts and white chocolate chunks

PAVLOVA WITH MASCARPONE AND LATE SUMMER FRUITS

Use a classic meringue recipe - around 50g sugar per egg white. Using an electric whisk or stand mixer, whisk the egg whites* until they form soft peaks then slowly add in the sugar by the spoonful until you have a thick glossy mixture. Spoon this onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper - bake for 1-2 hours at 120C (depending on the size of your meringue) until a solid crust is formed on the outside and the meringue comes off the paper when lifted gently. Leave to cool in the oven with the oven door open. Once cool, top with whipped double cream or I like to use mascarpone with whipped double cream mixed in. Top with fruit.
*Waste not want not - use your leftover yolks to make a fruit curd - lemon curd works well or stay on theme and try a blackberry curd. I like this recipe from Ruby Tandoh 

SCONES WITH CLOTTED CREAM & FRESH BLACKBERRIES

Here's a classic Delia recipe for buttermilk scones - top with clotted cream and fresh blackberries. Don't forget the pot of tea
 

MORE IDEAS :
 

BLACKBERRY CLAFOUTIS

BLACKBERRY & APPLE CRANACHAN

BLACKBERRY & COCONUT SQUARES

CINNAMON CAKE WITH BLACKBERRIES FROM DAN LEPARD, SHORT & SWEET COOKBOOK

 

London Brunch Guide

I've had this idea to write my definitive london brunch guide for a while now. To write one post and keep updating it with new finds. For those moments where you've been trusted with the location decision and your mind has a blank. This will be the post to save you (me). The only criteria for this list is that all the places must be amazing enough to keep coming back to again and again and again. 

NORTH

L to R : Ottolenghi, The Good Egg, Esters, Friends of Ours, Sunday, Caravan, Granger & Co.

 

Ottolenghi N1 (also East and West)

The shakshuka is the best dish here but I'm always drawn in by the assortment of breads, pastries and spreads (homemade nutella, raspberry & morello cherry jam, apricot & passionfruit). 

The Good Egg N16

The menu changes seasonally but I think the aubergine & egg pitta and dak dak salad are mainstays. I heartily recommend both of those but everything else I've had here is always superb. This is hardly a secret so your best bet is to come on a weekday or get here 15 minutes before it opens on a weekend. 

Friends of Ours N1

Great little cafe near Old Street. The beetroot and carrot fritters with kasundi, avocado and egg are my top recommendation.

Esters N16

This place is so unassuming, tucked away in a corner of Stoke Newington. Everything I've tried is fantastic, the flavours and textures are well thought out and balanced and the dish is always beautifully presented. They have a small but perfectly formed menu which changes with seasonal availability. 

Sunday N1

Just behind Cally Rd, this place receives absolutely zero footfall yet I'll often see a queue waiting outside at 10am on a weekday. Arrive early and nab yourself a table before the rush. Cannot recommend the cornbread (with maple chipotle butter!) enough. 

Caravan N1C

Head here for something new. Not just your standard avo & eggs situation but a dishes like a buckwheat bowl with rose harissa, pickles & avocado. They also have some sweet outside tables overlooking Granary Square 

Tina, We Salute You N1

A banging avocado on toast and very reasonable prices. A great spot for doing some work for a couple of hours

Granger & Co N1C (see East London entry)

 

 

CENTRAL

L to R : Honey & Co, 26 Grains, Fabrique

Honey & Co. W1

I mean you should get yourself here for the breakfast, lunch AND dinner but let's start with brunch. Choose the mezze followed by one of their middle eastern egg dishes. You may need rolling out the door, but it will be worth it.

26 Grains WC2

Situated in the beautiful Neals Yard, head here for a killer turmeric latte and try one of their seasonal savoury porridge bowls

Fabrique WC2 and W1T (also East and West)

I will happily travel across town for these buns. The cardamom ones especially. Nice chilled spot for a pit-stop or take away breakfast.

 

EAST 

L to R: Pavilion, Granger & Co., The Modern Pantry, E5 Bakehouse, Ottolenghi

Pavilion Bakery E9 (Also takeaway at E2 and E8)

This place is an absolute dream in summer. The tables overlooking Victoria Park's lake fill up fast. The Sri Lankan curry & sambal is the star dish here but they also offer all the classics. The chai masala is one of the more authentic drinks I've tried in London. Don't leave without a loaf of white sourdough. 

Granger & Co. EC1R (Also North and West)

Brunch in Aussie style, the decor here is so chic.. Love all the dishes, lots of well thought-out veggie dishes with layers of different flavours and textures  The watermelon & lime frappe will change your life (probably) 

The Modern Pantry (Finsbury Sq and Clerkenwell) EC1V

Finsbury Square is fairly corporate, I would head to Clerkenwell for a more relaxed vibe. Dreamy outdoor table situation in summer plus the menu features fusion flavours like garam masala banana, grapefruit & pink peppercorn and passionfruit & chilli

E5 Bakehouse in E8

Great little bakery under the railway arches near to London Fields. Lots of lovely dishes for breakfast and lunch as well as a wide selection of loaves to take home. 

Fabrique  E2 (see Central London entry)

Ottolenghi E1 (see North London entry)

 

WEST

 

Fabrique W11 (see East London entry)

Granger & Co. W11 (see East London entry)

Ottolenghi W11 (see North London entry)

 

SOUTH

 

Salon Brixton SW9

On my list for SO long and well worth a visit. Seasonal food, beautifully presented and lots of plantbased options. Book ahead

I don’t often venture West or South so I cannot give many recommendations. I’m sure I’m missing out on some great ones so do let me know

 

On my wishlist…

Delamina

Social Pantry 

Brunswick East

The Hive

Lowry & Baker

Urban Pantry

Greenberry Cafe

Bababoom

Rochelle Canteen

 

 

Tell me about other places I should visit @elizabethkerr_ _ on Instagram and Twitter

If you think I’ve missed anywhere please do let me know. I’ll be updating this list with new finds. 

 

 

Ibiza Food Guide

This post is in a similar vein to my london brunch guide. A continually updated guide to eating out in Ibiza. Unlike the rest of Spain, it's very easy to find vegetarian/vegan food without having to live off patatas bravas and queso, delicious though that is.  

CAFES

L to R: Dalt Vila, Passion Cafe, Amante, La Paloma Cafe

Cappuccino in Marina Botafoch. Beautiful, unobstructed views of Ibiza town and Dalt Vila.

Passion Cafe Lots of salads, juices and smoothies. There are several passion cafes on the island but I think the best spot for lunch is probably Santa Eulalia. Highly recommend the salads, the turmeric lassi and the coffee & walnut smoothie. 

La Paloma - I'm featuring this place twice. It's equally beautiful by day and night. It might just be my favourite restaurant of ALL time. Incredible mediterranean food served in the most picturesque garden, it's ACTUAL heaven. The food is really fresh, they grow some of their own ingredients and make everything on site including freshly baked focaccia 😱 

I'm still mourning the loss of Menjabe in San An, I hope one day it returns. The best hummus and falafel I have ever eaten.

Can't do a guide and not mention the Heladeria in San Jordi. It's always a mystery as to if it will be open or not but it serves the best gelato on the island 

RESTAURANTS

L to R : La Bodega, La Paloma, Experimental Beach

La Bodega hidden away down the cobbled streets of Eivissa, I return to this little bodega every trip for plates of tapas and chilled rose wine. Book in advance and ask for an outside spot. The padron peppers, provolone cheese and patatas braves are a must. Finish with a shot of herbias, a Balearic liquor 

La Paloma just as magical at night as it is by day. They bring the menu over on a giant easel board, the dishes vary seasonally but always feature incredible the best quality ingredients. 

Es Verges best pizza on the island. Super chilled vibes, great spot for a casual dinner.  

Asante stunning beach restaurant in the secluded spot of Sol den Serra. Fresh, mediterranean dishes a plenty. I don't know where they get their goats cheese from but it is insanely good 

Experimental Beach So many choices here, tapas dishes plus lots of fresh starters and mains. Get the watermelon & feta salad and the burrata (obv) with heritage tomatoes. 

Also on my hit list: Wild Beets, El Portalon, Aubergine, Can Domingo, Patchwork

SUNSET DRINKS

L to R: Cafe Mambo, Benirras, Las Salines, Experimental Beach, Beach House, Experimental Beach

Cafe Mambo and Savannah Ideal places for a pre-dinner drink, watch the sun go down with a margarita in hand 

Experimental Beach Club 

Benirras beach

Sunset Ashram

On a boat! 

BEACH

Incredibly fresh and delicious plates. Sun loungers and beds with food and drink service.
Book in advance. 

Beach clubs:

El Chiringuito
Beachouse
Jockey Club
Experimental Beach Club
Amante 

Some pretty beaches: Cala des Jondal, Cala Gracio, Cala Moli, Cala Carbo to name only a few!

DO

L to R: Es Cubells, Es Cubells, Dalt Vila, Atzaro, Playa den Bossa, A beach, Cala d'Hort, Es Vedra

Hiking

Brunch & Yoga at Amante

Views out to Es Vedra

Walk up Dalt Vila and around Ibiza old town

Take a day trip to Fomentera

Las Dalias

Views from Es Cubells and Cap des Falco

Take a drive through the centre of the island, the countryside is so pretty

Further websites for info

white-ibiza.com
ibiza-spotlight.com

Try and find the Pacha magazine for interesting interviews with Ibiza residents and artists plus they always have great recommendations on where to go and eat

Contact me with your recommendations for my next visit. Instagram and Twitter @elizabethkerr__ or email me at hello@elizabeth-kerr.co.uk

 

 

 

Fork & Knife Supperclub Series September 2017 - Meredith Whitely

Meredith guided us through an incredible four-course chocolate themed meal. Starting with a chocolate 'puddle' a beautiful taster of 72% Madagascan chocolate from Pump St Bakery, just wow.

 

MENU

Welcome drinks
Sipsmith G&Ts and Sparkling Elderflower


The Besto Pesto Bruschetta
a delicious cacao nib pesto with fresh tomatoes & toasted sourdough


Shake Your Shiitake Risotto
creamy risotto with cacao nibs and shiitake mushrooms


Go Nutty For Coconutty Chickpea Curry
fresh and spicy curry with creamy coconut and dark chocolate


Double Dip Chocolate Pot with Dark Rose Truffle
ganache with Pump St Bakery chocolate and fruit platters

 

All recipes by Meredith. We donated proceeds from the supperclub to FoodCycle, a charity working to combat food poverty and social isolation by providing weekly cooked meals for people in communities across the UK.

Meredith can be found @meredith_foodatheart on Instagram or on her website http://foodatheart.co.uk 

Details of our next supper club here