Great British Waste Menu follows four of the nation’s top chefs – Angela Hartnett, Richard Corrigan, Matt Tebbutt and Simon Rimmer – as they journey deep into the heart of Britain’s food waste problem, exploring how and why we throw away and reject huge quantities of perfectly edible food. This event will follow the chefs as they source shocking amounts of unwanted food from every corner of the food chain – from supermarkets to ordinary homes, markets to farms – and then transform it into mouth-watering dishes.
The scale of the food waste problem is eye-popping. Every year, British homes throw away enough food and drink to fill 4,700 Olympic sized swimming pools. Retailers throw away 400,000 tonnes of food every year. And it’s estimated that every day we bin around 4 million apples, 5.3 million potatoes, 2 million tomatoes a day, 2.3 million ham slices, 1.8 million yoghurts, 1.4 m sausages and 7 million slices of bread. Shocked by the scale of the problem our four chefs have agreed to take on a challenge that will test their culinary skills to the limit.
The chefs will face a unique and near-impossible task: can they create a fabulous banquet for over 60 VIPs using the food that the rest of us don’t want? Can they create restaurant-standard food using ingredients that have been discarded, rejected or deemed unsuitable for sale? Will they be able to change the way we all think about the food we waste? The dishes the chefs create will be judged by four of the nation’s toughest food critics – Matthew Fort, Prue Leith, Oliver Peyton and Jay Rayner – who will decide which dishes should go onto the menu for a lavish banquet designed to prove that we should all be saving our scraps. The challenge for the chefs is to create dishes good enough to grace any menu in any restaurant in the world, using the food that the rest of us don’t want.
With millions of people starving around the world, it’s a scandal that so much delicious food ends up as animal feed, is composted, or gets dumped simply because consumers and retailers have become picky and squeamish about ingredients. Just because ingredients are misshapen, blemished, the wrong size or unfashionable, it doesn’t mean they can’t be turned into great food. Our chefs’ mission is to prove that all this unwanted food can be great food, by sourcing it for themselves and then turning it into mouth-watering dishes. As well as raiding the bins and sourcing discarded, unwanted and unsellable food from shops and homes, our chefs will travel further up the food chain and explore how food gets wasted at source. They’ll discover how farmers and food producers are struggling to provide for a society that has ceased to treat food as a precious resource and begun to treat it like a disposable commodity.