The Covid-19 pandemic has forced scores of hospitality workers to face an uncertain future and financial hardship. But it has also showcased the generosity and camaraderie of an industry that has come together to support its own, as well as the communities in which it operates.
In producing Feast with Purpose, some of the country's top chefs have joined forces to raise money for those who are experiencing particularly hard times, at the same time, showcasing the talent present at all levels of hospitality.
The charity cookbook has been spearheaded by Simon Boyle, founder of social enterprise the Beyond Food Foundation. The foundation helps adults break the cycle of poverty by giving them the training, skills and support to move into meaningful employment. Money raised by Feast with Purpose will be put towards a programme called Made Again, helping those who have lost their jobs find their feet in the post-Covid world.
Boyle said of launching the book: "It's been a labour of love, but it's reminded me about what's at the heart of what we do – the power of food to inspire, bring people together and give purpose to our lives. But it's not just about cooking. This is also about doing our bit to support an industry that is seriously struggling."
Some 130 top chefs, including Prue Leith, Tom Kerridge, Brian Turner, Cyrus Todiwala, James Knappett and Sally Abé, have submitted recipes for inclusion and it's great to see their contributions appear alongside dishes put forward by the apprentices who have come through the Beyond Food Foundation programme, including Jamila Hussain, featured here.
Feast with Purpose is an expansive book of more than 300 pages, featuring a diverse array of recipes that will appeal to cooks and chefs of all skill levels. It showcases and celebrates the huge amount of talent in the UK hospitality industry and, with your help, it could ensure that those who may be just starting to realise their potential remain in the industry to delight guests for years to come.
Feast With Purpose, Chef Media (Digital downloads: £25. Hard copies available from mid-August, £65).
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