Flavours From Our Neighbours – The St. James Town Catering Collective partnered with The City for the ‘Love Food Hate Waste Campaign’ aimed at reducing food waste. The city approached the collective to support them in cooking for the public. The food was to be made using rescued food. Celebrity Chef Bob Blumer was part of the three day event organised at St. Lawrence farmer’s market.
On 21st May, during the media event, members of the collective along with Chef Blumer cooked for the audience and media. Members of the St. James Town collective were asked by Chef Bob to cook something up using a few rescued tomatoes. The team made a delicious tomato soup for the audience. This was a great opportunity for the collective to showcase their culinary skills and reach out to a wider audience in Toronto.
On May 22, the team was at St. Lawrence market doing the prep work for the next day’s main event where they served the public. They had done some essential shopping the previous day. The collective decided they would be making wraps for the public, veggie/quinoa and paneer/quinoa wraps. The team was joined by a few St. James Town seniors, whom with all their experience and expertise, were just what the team needed to cook for such a large crowd.
On May 23, the final day of the event, the members of collective along with the seniors made 500 wraps while officials and volunteers from The City set up the kiosks outside. Along with the delicious wraps which were served free, the public also had access to several resource materials on how to reduce waste and reuse and rescue food. There were fun games and other interactive activities for the public. Members of the collective interacted with the public talking to them about the initiative and what it means to the residents of St. James Town. Later Chef Bob Blumer cooked vegetable fritters using rescued food. The public thoroughly enjoyed this session and were very involved in the process. The campaign provided various new insights to the public on how we treat our food and how we can better utilize what we have. As Canadians we really need to step up in this regard, because as per reports, about half the food produced in Canada is either lost or wasted.