Four Changing Lives residents undertook a nine day crash-course in cooking to pull off a four-course meal at esteemed Newcastle restaurant, Blackfriars, for 45 paying guests.
Over the course of nine days, Aaron, Andy, Jamie and Liam were trained on how to prepare an elaborate feast and given skills that would enable them to secure a job in a restaurant in the future.
Liam, 23, originally from Blakelaw, said because of his time spent at Blackfriars he would consider getting a job cooking or serving food.
“It’s a good experience. I would do this in the future.
It’s challenging because you have to interact with people you haven’t met before, also getting the plates while people are eating and trying not to be in the way.
It’s been really fun. A new life experience for sure.”
The four-course meal was held in Blackfriars’ banquet hall and the menu was crafted using ingredients FareShare, an organisation dedicated to limiting food waste, had in its warehouse,
“I have super inventive chefs here,” Andy Hook, owner of Blackfriars, said.
“We wanted to throw something else in the mix and actually get some people, some volunteers whose lives have been touched by Changing Lives to not only to prepare the food but to serve it.”
The courses included pheasant soup, breaded fish, curry chicken and a chocolatey dessert, which the men prepped, cooked and served under the guidance of Blackfriars chefs.
FareShare NE takes food rejected by supermarkets and donates the items to needy organisations and community groups. They currently support 96 groups in the North East.
The men involved in the banquet said they enjoyed the experience and the skills they picked up on their training.
Among the guests were council members, businesspeople from Barclays and Proctor and Gamble and other notable North East names, all who learned about food poverty and food waste.
In total, the event raised around £4,500 and funds went towards Changing Lives and FareShare.
This article was originally published in The Chronicle. Read the full article here.