11 Jan Lunch At The Food Cycle In Cambridge review
Food For The Mind
The first time I came across the Food Cycle, when an invite for their Christmas party at Stickybeaks dropped into my Twitter stream. I have to admit, that I vaguely remember coming it across somewhere before, but I didn’t really register it at the time. This is a surprise as having lived in Cape Town for many years I have come across food surplus on one side and poverty on the other. Not only that, my parents were children during the 2nd World War in the Netherlands so no food was wasted at all in our household. Left overs were stored carefully in the fridge and reused again.
More recently one of the most inspiring women in my life, Anthea Rossouw got involved in Love Food Hate Waste. She did a project in an home and measured the waste. One of the most surprising findings was the number of teabags thrown away. It is really shocking. In the UK they go straight away into the rubbish bin. In Cape Town the Original Tea Bag Design company makes lovely art out of it. One of my favourites is featured below. Many people in Cape Town, mainly in Houtbay collect the tea bags and dry them out in the sun and then pass them on to them and I am sure you agree the outcome is magnificent. Just in case you like to get hold of them, they do postal orders too and make lovely presents.
Since my invite in December I decided to get involved. My roots are in responsible travel and I am a great believer in running a company and giving something back to community. The cemetery in Mill Road is one of the organisations I will be supporting as the cemetery is part of our walking tour, but as we are all about food the Food Cycle is a charity which we are keen to support too. It is shocking that so much food is wasted every year. ( click on link to find out how much!) More awareness should be created of this. My mother could be a really good advocate as she has been drumming this into me for all my life, but how do we make the younger generation aware of this?
It is challenge, which might be more difficult for me. I will address it with their schools though. The Geography Collective is a really good initiative. It is directed at children and it would be fantastic if the local schools could get involved in this. Creating awareness is very important and next week, we will shoot off emails to local schools in the hope that maybe some of the schools might pick it up.
Back to the Food Cycle. Last Saturday was a busy foodie day for me. Not with eating my way through Cambridge on my food tour, but eating my way through Cambridge in a different way. At midday I had agreed to join the Food Cycle for lunch and a few hours later I was going to attend the Kitchen Cabinet with Jay Rayner as host. My foodie day experiences couldn’t be further apart…
So how do you start a day filled with food, knowing you will finish the day with another nice meal somewhere in Cambridge; a run to burn of those calories you are soon to absorb. If that wasn’t enough I cycled to the wrong church so I burned off even more, which I did need!
The Food Cycle experience was fantastic. I say experience as it is an experience and talking to many of the guests, quite a few go there for a meal, but many of them for the experience too. The food is great, but it is a fantastic meeting place too. I had some great conversations and learned things I really didn’t know. It is sometimes shocking to hear why people sleep rough. On the other side it is great to hear, that the elderly go there as they don’t want to cook for themselves and want to seek company such as singles to break up the day. I even made contact with a landscaper! It is a huge misconception, that the Food Cycle is only for people sleeping rough. I am not using the word ‘in need’ as people go there for their own reasons. Either for food or to meet people. It is a different kind of need. Without being cliche, I found it very enriching.
Apart from the mental food, I had an amazing lunch. The starter was a potato soup with celery, mushroom and onions followed by a risotto wrap with a green salad and then an amazing bread pudding. I have to admit I am not to keen on bread puddings, but this one was amazing. It did show as many of the guests had seconds! It was made out of bread, bananas, black currants and other fruits served with Fruit salad.
If you have a careful look at the menu, you will notice it is not 5 a day as suggested for an ideal food plan, but more like 10 a day. So an incredible healthy and delicious at the same time.
A local company donates all the food. They don’t use any fish or meat, but some of the other Food Cycles do. Outspoken delivery delivers the food the evening before hand and then the first shift starts at 09.30 and the next one at 11.30. On the day itself they appoint a team leader and they create a meal with what is available. Isn’t that what MasterChef on TV does too?
Fancy joining “the MasterChef team in Cambridge”? Drop them a line as they are always in need of hands and it is great to meet ‘Europe’ here as there were Brits, Greek and Italians on duty.