Community Cooking with Jamie Oliver

by Michael Ford last modified 11 Feb, 2020 04:29 PM

Jamie Oliver made a surprise visit this week to a class of community cooks learning how best to use surplus food donations to create tasty, nutritious dishes - and met one of our Dorset priests.

Community Cooking with Jamie Oliver

Lynn Bowerman, far left

Jamie's visit was to celebrate 1,000 cooks passing through the Tesco Community Cookery School programme, which he launched with Tesco a year ago.

The community cooks, who included the Revd Lynn Bowerman, Associate Priest at St Clement with St Barnabas in Branksome, learn everything from knife skills and nutrition to recipes for versatile base sauces, which can be adapted to complement a wide variety of donated food.

Lynn said:

"Like many other charity organisations across the country, St Clement’s Church signed up to collect Fareshare food from local supermarkets over 3 years ago. We offer “Best Before” food (bakery, fruit and veg) with Foodbank parcels, and also use it for community meals and holiday clubs.

"I felt honoured to be invited to be part of the Cookery School at the Heart building, Tesco HQ in Welwyn Garden City in late January to celebrate 1000 community cooks trained in a year.

"There were representatives from right across the UK feeding homeless people, needy families, and those relying on benefits.

"The one day course was designed by Jamie Oliver to help volunteer cooks learn new skills, and improve the nutritional content of the meals they offer.

"It was humbling to meet some of the many working so hard to improve the lives of strangers, and a surprise for us all to meet Jamie in person.

"I hope it will be possible to share some of what I have learnt with those I work with in Poole."

Jamie, who helped devise the recipes, spent time with the cooks talking about the work they do in their communities and how the surplus food they receive gets put to good use.

The Tesco Community Cookery School was developed in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare, and builds on Tesco’s Community Food Connection scheme which supplies a million meals each month to 7,000 charities and community groups across the UK.

Tesco has been focussing on reducing food waste for over a decade. In 2009, Tesco stopped sending food to landfill and in 2013, became the first retailer to publish its food waste data. In 2016, Tesco made a commitment that no food safe for human consumption will go to waste in its operations.

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