We had a fantastic day at the Tesco Community Cookery School who work together with Jamie Oliver developing recipes that can be prepared, using a huge variety of foods, with the intention of inspiring us to think of ways we can use the food that is donated so that as little as possible goes to waste.
Before we started we were given some frankly staggering and disturbing statistics on how much food is wasted and sent to landfill every single day, week, month and year. It was truly shocking!
We then had a demonstration of knife skills showing us how to safely chop a variety of vegetables. You might think to yourself “well anyone can chop vegetables” but if you’ve ever watched any of your favourite chefs cookery programs and marvelled at the speed they manage to chop their vegetables without chopping their fingers off, well that’s what we were shown. I’m sure we will never be able to match their skills but we certainly learned how to handle a chefs knife and produced some lovely chopped vegetables even if we do say so ourselves!
The best thing was that all those lovely chopped vegetables didn’t go to waste and we were then shown how to make three amazing base sauces which could be made in bulk, in advance and then frozen to be made into amazing recipes at a later date. For all those families out there with fussy eaters who won’t touch a vegetable with a barge pole it was an amazing way to disguise all those ‘five a day’ vegetables!
We then had lunch consisting of one chicken and one vegetable curry and two pasta dishes, one tomato and one with cheese sauce. All had further vegetables added to them during cooking! We definitely had all of our ‘five a day’ and more.
In the afternoon Tesco’s nutritionist went through all the different food groups and the quantities of each that we should be eating in order to eat a healthy diet. We also learnt about the various food allergies and intolerances and what alternative ingredients can be used to make nutritious food for people with these issues.
Lastly, we joined the Tesco Community Cookery School social media groups which will allow us to keep in touch with all the community cooks we met so that we can swap ideas, ask questions and post success stories and pictures.
Just before leaving we got a goodie bag containing a fabulous recipe book, a professional hand blender and a £50 Tesco gift card to buy ingredients, utensils or anything else we felt we need to help in preparing food.
Well done Tesco and their amazing chefs and training staff for a fabulous and inspiring day.