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Lunch with Hugh at River Cottage Plymouth - The War on Waste

On Monday I scampered along the sunny Royal William Yard to attend a lunchtime event at the River Cottage Canteen in Plymouth. I say scampered because that best describes my excitement at meeting my childhood food hero Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, savior of chickens, explorer of hedgerows and all round vegetable touting hero. I've always loved Hugh and his programmes, I even saved up my minimum wage when I was 19 and drove a 3 hour round trip to eat lunch at his canteen in Axminster

So when we popped through the door and were greeted by the man himself I knew we were in for a treat. You may have caught Hugh's recent TV programmes "Hugh's War on Waste" where Hugh showed us the shocking reality of our everyday food wastage. Shockingly a third of the food we purchase in the UK gets wasted when many of us are struggling to even afford our weekly food shop - that's £700 a year! In conjunction with these programmes Hugh has also released a fantastic cookery book which shows us how to make the most of our groceries "Love your Leftovers" the ultimate recipe guide for the resourceful cook

The event itself kicked off with a talk from Hugh regarding the shocking amount of food waste we all contribute to before we were treated to a beautiful nibbles platter featuring items we would usually have thrown straight in the bin. These included crispy vegetable peel, deep fried mackerel skeletons, spiced lamb with raita, a root vegetable puree, vinaigrette and cheese straws. The ingredients of all of these things would have ended up in our bins at home but instead scrubbed up as the tastiest selection of purse-friendly treats (although I'm still not convinced by that Mackerel skeleton)

Next up was the main course, shin of beef is a cut that usually gets chucked by the butcher or bought for the dog but slowly braised with boozy prunes and paired with celeriac puree its a winning dish with a bargain price tag. This was served with a beautiful butternut squash and pear salad garnished with feta and spelt alongside a Mackerel and apple side-dish freshened with horse-radish (Ahh the skeleton wastage starts to make sense)

Dessert was a light and zesty lemon yoghurt pudding cake, perfect for using up dry ingredients at the back of the cupboard and the end of the greek yogurt pot that always tends to linger around the back of my fridge. It was definitely the perfect refreshing finale to the 3 courses 

I had a fantastic time at the event and left with my very own left-overs pot, proving that NOTHING goes to waste. I also had the opportunity to speak with Hugh about my blog and to introduce my sister, easily the best patisserie chef in the South-West. All in all it was a fantastic day with a fantastically important message and I will definitely be thinking more carefully about the food I throw away in my house. If you want to try any of the recipes featured in this post you can purchase Hugh's book War on Waste by clicking here

Visit the River Cottage Canteen, Plymouth

1 comment:

  1. So jealous I love him too, the chicken out programme really got to me. I need to visit here
    Carrieanne xx


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