National food charity and resident of the Food Exchange, FoodCycle, welcomed nearly 60 guests into the Food Exchange’s Mission Kitchen on 15th November for a four-course Italian feast. The supper club curated by FoodCycle ambassador, MasterChef: The Professionals finalist and Michelin-trained chef Danilo Cortellini wowed guests who filled the Mission Kitchen’s Glass Room to the rafters.
The fun-filled evening raised £3,156 to help FoodCycle keep their network of community meal projects running and tackle food poverty, social isolation and food waste across London and beyond. Designed to evoke one of FoodCycle’s community meals, with guests seated communally, delicious dishes included Burrata with roast pumpkin, almonds, pomegranate and balsamic dressing, Cime di rapa (turnip tops greens) arancini, with chilli and garlic oil, Uovo in raviolo San Domenico with truffle and Amaretto and cinnamon tiramisu to coincide with International Italian Cuisine Week.
Danilo, pictured above with his volunteer sous chefs for the night, said: “The FoodCycle team and I have been talking about an Italian-themed fundraiser dinner for ages but only now we've been able to actually do it and to be honest, I think we have made the right call to wait. The venue was great, the atmosphere was perfect and the FoodCycle team and volunteers have worked like pros to make sure every guest was looked after properly.”
Ten FoodCycle volunteers from community meals across London generously gave up their time to support the event, with five pulling on their chef whites alongside Danilo and five expert hosts serving the meal and keeping guests glasses topped up. Among them was Sophie Watson, who said of the experience: “I had an absolutely amazing time - what an experience! I’m so proud to have been part of it and it’s fantastic to hear that we raised so much money for the community meals.”
FoodCycle’s Italian supper club was generously sponsored by Calastone, one of FoodCycle’s corporate partners, with all food and wine kindly donated by Danilo’s suppliers including San Pietro a Pettine, Delitalia, La Latteria, Grana Padano, the Market’s own Vincenzo Limited, Filippo Berio, Riso Gallo, Prosecco DOC and Pasqua Wines.
FoodCycle connects communities by bringing people together to share food and conversation. Week in, week out, thousands of volunteers across the country transform surplus food into healthy, delicious meals for anyone that needs them, no questions asked. Food poverty and loneliness are growing issues, both heightened by the cost-of-living crisis. By offering a safe, welcoming space to enjoy a free meal and company, FoodCycle brings people from all backgrounds and walks of live together, improving mental wellbeing and strengthening community spirit.
FoodCycle also runs a free Check-in and Chat telephone service, where volunteers make weekly calls to anyone in need of a natter.
For more information on FoodCycle visit https://foodcycle.org.uk/