The Restaurant Association team had the pleasure of teaming up with Everybody Eats for their last Monday night dinner of 2017, and what a fantastic well-attended evening!
The entire team did a great job and our kitchen crew whipped up a savoury holiday meal featuring a Mixed Vege Soup, Turkey Squab with Cranberry main, and a Summer B&B Pudding with Caramel Ice Cream dessert!
Food waste is a major issue in New Zealand, with many unknowingly contributing to the problem. In fact, Kiwis are sending a whopping 122,547 tonnes of food to landfill annually or just under $2 billion dollars worth of food annually. To put this into perspective, that’s the equivalent of around 79 kilograms of food per household each year or – financially speaking – approximately $1071 worth of food per household, per year.
These are the some of the key issues that prompted the start of Everybody Eats – a weekly three-course dinner event held at Karangahape Road’s Gemmayze St that operates on a pay-asyou-feel basis. The revolutionary New Zealand-new concept that creates entire meals from rescued food was started by Nicholas (Nick) Loosley in an attempt to address the issues surrounding surplus food and wastage in New Zealand.
The Restaurant Association, in partnership with American Express, was proud to present Everybody Eats with the Good Neighbour Award at this year’s Feast by Famous Chefs as a Restaurant Association member doing outstanding work within the community.
The initial inspiration for Everybody Eats was sparked two years ago in the UK as part of Nick’s Master’s degree in Economics, where he focused on economics, sustainability and food. For his dissertation he travelled around the UK and visited different projects that were doing interesting things with food – specifically surplus food – such as The Real Junk Food Project and Food Cycle.
Everybody Eats is modelled off the revolutionary UK series of cafés called The Real Junk Food project, which operates in a similar way – utilising surplus food and serving meals in a pay-as-you-feel manner.
Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. Weekly meals are prepared in a similar way at the Monday night dinner events here in Auckland — by volunteer chefs and others within the hospitality industry contributing their time for one dinner service each week to provide a three-course meal for upwards of 250 people per night.
The meals are made entirely from rescued food in partnership with KiwiHarvest, a food rescue charity that receives the food from supermarkets, as well as in partnership with New World Eastridge who coordinates with Nick and his team each Monday and Thursday for surplus food collection.
The dinners are held each Monday night at Gemmayze St, an establishment that holds 95 people per seating. The team does around 2 full seatings, with the remaining 50 to 80 portions served as take-away dinners. The diners that have turned up at the pop-up dinner events range from young professionals to those that are in need of a nutritious meal and who would otherwise would not be able to afford one.
The reception from the community has been phenomenal. Every week there’s a mixture of volunteers coming from the public and within the hospitality industry, with two-thirds to three-quarters of volunteers coming back as repeat crew members. It’s a big undertaking for a volunteer effort and Nick says “we just can’t always have a brand new team coming to us…it’s a lot to get through.”
We try to get one restaurant to lead it, and bring along three, four, five, or six chefs.
Each week a different restaurant manages the kitchen – Mudbrick, Bird on a Wire, and The Cult Project have all been volunteer crew members.
Everybody Eats started off as a pop-up project this year to address the rising issue of food wastage, as well as the parallel issue of food insecurity in New Zealand, and the organisation hopes to expand this concept across New Zealand going forward into 2018.
If you’re interested in volunteer opportunites with Everybody Eats, contact the team at:
t: +64 21 022 21225