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TASTE IT, DON'T WASTE IT

New supper club series by Blacks of Soho & City Harvest

Monday, 27th January, kicked off a new series of supper clubs, with Duck Duck Goose celebrating Chinese New Year, at Blacks Club, home of the supper club.

Ticket sales raised funds to enable City Harvest to deliver 4000 meals to those facing food poverty in London. We are over the moon!

Guest testimonial,

"At the 'Taste it, Don't Waste it' supper club, we enjoyed, amongst other delights, cod & pork wontons, succulent slices of fish with aubergine, a punchy cucumber salad & a caramel & soy ice cream to die for. All of this made from surplus food.

It was such a treat to dine well & do good at the same time. We helped save the planet a little bit, raised money to provide food for the hungry & had great conversations with lots of diverse & interesting people. It was the best a supper club could be! Thank you so much for having us!" Suzy, Best Before Cafe - Letchworth.

Guest chef Oli Brown, of Duck Duck Goose, created a sensational menu, with a nod to Chinese New Year.

"Really good quality and variety of produce was delivered, I had no problem working with any of the ingredients. One of the many brilliant things about Chinese cookery is the focus on transforming humble ingredients into something delicious. So, the process was natural and was shaped by what was delivered and how to get the best out of it.” 

Oli Brown

Chef Luke Thomas commented,

“Seeing the work of City Harvest first hand through volunteering was really the motivator to want to support the incredible work being done already, and seeing that the surplus food can be turned into incredibly nutritious, delicious meals by a chef like Oliver was really special, I can’t wait to see this flourish into something more”.

These supper clubs provide a wonderful way to enjoy food, experience guest chefs in the home of the London supper club, whilst raising money for City Harvest. A non-profit charity, every penny goes towards operating costs that help keep our vans rolling. We are proud to pay our drivers the London Living wage.

Oli sums it up well in his comment about surplus,

“Surplus food is a complicated and political issue. But from a chef's point of view and as someone who has dealt with food on a daily basis on a micro-level it seems that food waste is partly a product of bad management on the macro level from Supermarkets and large food suppliers. To see City Harvest make the best of a bad situation and redistribute food in a sustainable and sensible way is brilliant!

Snapshot of London's food poverty situation

The UK wastes over £13 billion worth of food each year, despite this we also have more people experiencing severe food insecurity than any other country in Europe. It’s time to highlight and fund solutions to change this.

In London, one of the wealthiest cities in the world, more than 25% of the population industry, that could create 13 million meals, is sent to landfill, serving as a major contributor to climate change.

About City Harvest

LONDON'S FIRST FRESH FOOD SURPLUS REDISTRIBUTION CHARITY

City Harvest was in established 2014, as London’s first 'last mile' food redistribution charity. Rescuing food surplus and delivering to those who need it the most, chilled vans form rapid response units connecting waste and want, 7 days a week throughout London.

To date City Harvest has rescued over 8 million meals, over £10 million worth of food equalling 12,000 tons of greenhouse gases offset. Core principles of the

City Harvest provides a free surplus food collection and delivery service. Many companies pay to dispose of food, creating unnecessary greenhouse gases. As a business, there is no logical reason to throw good food away. All you have to do is call City Harvest and we will collect for free.

City Harvest vans collect and deliver 80,000 meals a week from supermarkets, wholesale markets, manufacturers and the hospitality industry. Our trademark fleet of temperature-controlled vans deliver to over 300 London community programmes, including: homeless shelters, mental health community projects, family centres, childrens’ programmes, and domestic abuse refuges. Winners of the Caroline Walker Trust Award for Charity Food Campaigner

About Duck Duck Goose

Duck Duck Goose was founded by Oli Brown, returning to London after living and working in Hong Kong for two years. Its first incarnation was a two-year residency in Pop Brixton which opened to a 4-star review from Time Out, as well as a spot on its ‘Best New Restaurants of London 2017’. Further high praise was garnered from Foodism and The Nudge amongst others, plus inclusion in Evening Standard restaurant critic Fay Maschler’s ‘Top Five Roast Ducks in London’.

About Luke Thomas

Born in North Wales in 1993, Luke Thomas has been fluent in flavours ever since his nan taught him how to pick up a peeler and knock up a shepherd’s pie, but it was only once Luke got behind a butcher’s block at age twelve and into his first professional kitchen at thirteen, that he discovered his true calling.

Luke shadowed his culinary heroes, such as Grant Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago, and spent every spare moment behind the stoves at the prestigious Chester Grosvenor Hotel.

At 15 he won Springboard’s Future Chef, a national cooking competition against 7,500 budding young chefs. By the time Luke was 18, he was launching his first restaurant, Luke’s Dining Room, which in 2013 won the title, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire restaurant of the year. This was followed by his first book, Luke’s Cookbook, published by Penguin in 2014, a collection of classic, nostalgic British comfort foods with a modern makeover.

The book inspired the creation of a British pop up diner, Retro Feasts in London’s Mayfair, which then led to its launch as Retro Feast Dubai, with more locations on the way.

Luke has since appeared on TV shows including Great British Menu, Junior Master Chef, This Morning, Russell Howard’s Good News and Food Network’s Chopped, in the US.

Recently, Luke has been brought into the likes of Liverpool Football Club, Generator Hostels, Cafe Habana, Fast-Fine Restaurant Group as a taste maker and consultant to breathe his youth and craft into their offering.

Music is another passion, Luke has cooked for some of the biggest music stars on the planet such as Iron Maiden, Tom Jones, Bastille, and DNCE.

Alongside his new venture, Blacks, Luke is working on his next book. Luke has also recently signed a 5-year deal with The Office Group; collaborating on their Vauxhall property to provide an exciting Food and Drink offering. He was also co-founder of The Coffee Collaborative which provide 4th wave coffee to over 150 UK venues.

About Blacks Club

Blacks is the original alternative club in London. ‘The Club’ formed in 1764 by the author Dr. Samuel Jackson and his friends, the portrait painter Joshua Reynolds and the actor and play write David Garrick. They created it as the very antithesis of Whites of London, one of the most exclusive, establishment clubs in the world. Their Club was to be anti-establishment, a supper club where like minded people would meet to discuss the issues of the day, and of course enjoy fine food and wine. The first Club meeting was held in the Turks Head pub in Soho. As far as we can tell, this is the very origins of the term ‘supper club’, and what we know for sure, is that the original intent and beliefs of the founders still very much represent the spirit of Blacks today.

Fast forward 200 years, and that Blacks spirit was given a more public and physical persona when Tom Bantock, a famous Norfolk poacher, relaunched the club in 1992 and gave it its home of today: Blacks, 67 Dean Street, Soho, London. Fittingly this glorious Georgian townhouse has a Blacks appropriate history all of its own dating back to the

days when the Club was first formed. The house was designed in the early 18th century by John Meard Junior, the apprentice of one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history, Sir Christopher Wren. The house has also been home to many notables including Charles Fortnum of Fortnum & Mason. Tom however took the club in to a new societal era. An era of celebrity and excess and exclusivity and a new decadence, but through it all Blacks remained Blacks at its core and adapted to the new times with aplomb.

Today, under its current owners, Luke Thomas and Roger Payne, the club history and core spirit still remain very much alive today. Interpreted of course in ways that are relevant to people and society just now. It remains discreet, but very open, accessible and forward thinking. It remains very much on the opposite side of the establishment. And it remains, very much a place where liked minded people can share their views, their ideas and of course their good times. The bar, the food, the wine, the art, the music, the style, have all taken on a new focus in keeping with the expectations and relevance of today. The original spirit, the original intent, the original values however, are still at the core of everything that they do, including that slight touch of everyday hedonism. They see themselves as mere custodians of Blacks, as no matter the owners, no matter the generation, they believe the heart of Blacks will always beat the same.

Notes To editors

If you require any information or quotes from City Harvest please contact fiona@cityharvest.org.uk 07703108163

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