As part of his Food Revolution initiative, Jamie Oliver has partnered with charity UKHarvest to host the first ever UK CEO CookOff – an event that aims to highlight food waste and encourage food education.
The Food Revolution calls for younger generations to make a positive change in the way they consume and understand food. Campaigns have included healthier school meals and enforcing a national sugar tax, as well as delivering food education programmes locally.
The first CEO CookOff will be held in Old Billingsgate Market, London, on 21 March and will see business leaders team up with top chefs to cook a three-course banquet, served to 600 diners who work in schools, hospitals and charities across the UK.
Business leaders taking part include Fiona Dawson of Mars; Ewan Venters of Fortnum & Mason; Richard Scudamore from the Premier League; Stephen Miron of Global; Cilla Snowball for AMV BBDO; Craig Inglis of John Lewis and James Hassett of Barclays.
The chefs cooking the banquet are Jamie Oliver; Angela Hartnett of Murano in Mayfair, London; Bill Granger of Granger & Co; Atul Kochhar of Benares in Mayfair, London; and chef Gennaro Contaldo.
Oliver said: “It’s absolutely brilliant that we can get all these bigwigs together in the same room with the nation’s top chefs, all rolling up their sleeves and cooking some delicious grub for our everyday heroes – to raise money for the bigger issues around food education and waste.
“That’s what this is all about: bringing together a bunch of hugely influential people for our Food Revolution to show how important food education is. For me, it’s as important as teaching kids maths and English, in terms of their future development. And we want to show how easy it can be for families and businesses to cook with the correct food and without waste. The CEO CookOff will be loads of fun, but the cause at its heart is very serious. I’m always asking people to think big and work together and this just proves that we can do it.”
Yvonne Thomson, CEO and founder of UKHarvest, added: “We’re on a mission to ‘Nourish our Nation’ by putting surplus food to good use. We are also a source of food education, equipping people with the knowledge of how to use food responsibly, which is something Jamie has also campaigned for. Partnering with the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation for this event is a fantastic alliance of two organisations with similar interests coming together to maximise their positive impact.”
The CEO CookOff will be a zero food waste event. Any meal that isn’t served will be collected by a UKHarvest van and taken to the Robes Project, a charity that offers shelter and food to the homeless in south London. Organic waste from the dinner will be put into an anaerobic digester and turned into compost within 24 hours.
Founded in 2004 by Australian entrepreneur Ronni Kahn, UKHarvest is a charity that aims to reduce unnecessary food waste by redistributing surplus food to charities that feed people in need.
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