On 8 March, Jo Churchill, the Minister for Agri-Innovation and Climate Adaptation, visited Westminster Kingsway College’s Victoria Centre, where she found out about what the college’s renowned School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts is doing to tackle the issue of food waste, and how to turn leftover food into a delicious meal.
The event was organised by the charity WRAP as part of Food Waste Action Week, their annual campaign which aims to help people reduce the amount of food that they waste. As a Minister in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Jo has responsibility for environmental management and waste, and cares passionately about the issue.
Food waste is a huge problem with a significant environmental impact. If food waste were a country, it would have the third largest carbon footprint in the world – with approximately 1/3 of all food wasted, the resources used to make it contributes to 8-19% of total man-made greenhouse gas emissions. And as Catherine David, Director of Collaboration and Change at WRAP explained: “Over the next seven days, the UK will waste more than 87,000 tonnes of food across all our homes, contributing to this country’s 9.5 million tonne food waste mountain. But if we focus on storing food well, making lists before we shop, freezing and defrosting more, we can tackle this problem and save money too.”
Although most food waste in the UK is in people’s homes, chefs have an important role to play too by reducing food waste in their restaurants and hotels. Colleges like Westminster Kingsway must play their part too, by ensuring that their culinary students are trained in the most efficient use of food and how to minimise wastage.
Our culinary students, led by Culinary Arts Lecturer Vince Kelly, treated the Minister and guests to a menu of delicious small bowls of food made from some of the most commonly wasted foods, including potatoes, carrots, bread, bananas, fizzy drinks, fruit smoothies, milk and meat.
The visit concluded with Jo and guests finally getting to enjoy the dishes the students had made, which inspired everyone to think of how they can make simple delicious food at home out of their leftovers.
The menu included, to start:
- Spiced paneer on carrot slaw with a lime and poppyseed dressing – made from leftover milk and carrots.
- Ham croquettes with a minted pea puree – made with sliced ham, potatoes, bread and frozen veg.
- Thai potato cake, with date banana chutney – made from banana skins and potatoes.
For the main:
- Roast pork trim pie topped with mash and crisp fried skins – made from leftover pork and potato skins.
- Stir fried chicken trim and rice – made with the final trims of meat from a chicken and frozen veg.
- Roast vegetable crostini – using leftover bread baguettes.
And to finish:
- Carrot cake – made from leftover carrots.
- Fizzy drinks sorbet – made from a combination of fizzy drinks.
- Fruit fool – made using leftover fruit juices and smoothies.
Access the recipes here and cook them yourself.
Find out more about our highly regarded culinary and hospitality courses here.