ODD PLATE DINNER – A culinary experience with a difference.
NOSH Food Rescue hosted their 1st post Covid-19 fundraising Odd Plate Dinner last Friday 16th October at the Thava Indian Restaurant in Norwood. This date has a double meaning as it commemorates the 75th anniversary of the UN FAO ‘World Food Day’ as well as the 2nd anniversary of NOSH Food Rescue’s Odd Plate Dinners.
The purpose of the evening was to raise awareness of food waste and sustainability while the 2020 theme for World food Day is Grow, Nourish, Sustain – Together. While more than 15 million South Africans go hungry every day, 30% of food produced is wasted and food insecurity is surging in South Africa, especially under the negative economic impact triggered by the country’s covid-responses. This amounts to approximately 10 million tonnes of produce per annum, which has obvious serious economic, environmental and educational implications.
The challenge was to develop and create the menu based entirely from food that would have otherwise gone to waste. All the ingredients had been rescued in the morning by the NOSH team. Experience and skills contributed a great deal in planning the dinner.
Chef Heinz commented: “I was not expecting such a day to be so challenging, although full of positive experience. Being creative with “plant-based” ingredients while keeping the dish nutritious and delicious was a real brain-teaser. ”Experience and skills contributed a great deal in planning the dinner. Chef Heinz commented: “I was not expecting such a day to be so challenging, although full of positive experience. Being creative with “plant-based” ingredients while keeping the dish nutritious and delicious was a real brain-teaser. ”
Nosh Odd Plate dinners are also an opportunity for the culinary students to gain invaluable experience working side-by-side with top chefs. The kitchen operated as a fine-dining restaurant kitchen where “YES CHEF”, high pressure gas and cooking tips were exchanged in order to deliver a feast. This unique experience, cooking with surplus ingredients and doing so with renowned chefs, will help the students with their field practice.
Chef Fungai stated: “this is not only about rescuing food, but also educating and showing people what can be created from food waste. This should be included in our future Chefs’ schooling.”
Commenting on food waste, Chef Owen conveyed a strong point of view to the guests: “we all have a personal responsibility not to waste this valuable resource. We must encourage a more creative, mindful approach to cooking and shopping on a daily basis to reduce the waste”.
Guests were entertained by Jacques Lagesse who provided fantastic live music and a team of volunteers assisted with front of house service. As Chef Philippe Frydman, who also acted as the MC, reminded the guests: “Events such as this Odd Plate Dinner are important as a whole and volunteers play a crucial part.
Nosh is not publicly funded, so being able to offer a platform for engaging with paying guests helps support Nosh in the work it does. More deeply, it helps to show guests, volunteers and especially the students, who are the future of our industry, that ALL food is usable in some way at all stages of its life and that rescued or “past sell by date” products are often as good and safe to eat as what was picked in the morning. They just need a little more thought to make it tasty and nutritional”.
Since the beginning of the lockdown, NOSH Food Rescue has assisted over 50 organizations and shelters. Over 250 tonnes of food and produce was rescued and redistributed not only to the Nosh network of shelters, community kitchens and feeding schemes but also to the Chefs with Compassion NPC ‘hubs’, who collectively prepared over one million meals during this time.
Hanneke van Linge, founder of NOSH Food Rescue, commented: “There are glaring inefficiencies and faults in the food system as it exists today. We do our best to address the societal problem of food insecurity by tapping into surplus, unused food generated by the current system, while simultaneously striving for a more equitable food supply for all.”
About NOSH FOOD RESCUE
NOSH Food Rescue NPC (NOSH) aims to reduce food insecurity, by diverting, repurposing, and redistributing prepared and perishable surplus food that is still wholesome and nutritious. NOSH has provided over 50,000 meals to soup kitchens and feeding schemes over the past 5 years, not including the scaled-up activities since the beginning of Lockdown. Poor nutrition leads to increased illness, reduced life expectancy, poor education outcomes, increased violence and unnecessary suffering amongst the poorest sections of society. It entrenches and intensifies existing inequalities which in turn lead to civil unrest and other societal ills. Food insecurity is a global problem which impacts the poorest sections of all societies. NOSH currently operates predominantly in and around Gauteng.
About the Chefs
- Chef Owen Jullies (retired Seta F & B Director)
- Chef Fungai Muzorewa (Reg. Exec Chef McBrothers and ex-Director of the South African Chef’s Association)
- Chef Philippe Frydman (Consulting chef to Thava Restaurant and Fellow of the Academy of Chefs)
- Chef Heinz Brunner (Hon. President of the South African Chef’s Association, Fellow AOC and World Chefs Hon. Lifetime member)
About the Culinary Students
- Bonolo Mothibi – HTA
- Lungile Njoju – CPSH
- Tumelo Kgabo – CPSH
- Minenhle Mncube – CPSH
- Sabina Ncube – CPSH
- Vusimuzi Mazibuko – CPSH
Table Service Volunteers
- Noel Julius
- Bellin Julius
- Agatha Meyers – who also provided the decorations for the tables
- Busi Siziba
- Kgomotso Sekonya