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Guildford Community Cook Gets Kitchen Training From Jamie Oliver

Published on: 14 Mar, 2019
Updated on: 14 Mar, 2019

Cynthia Shellman (right) receiving her Jamie Oliver certificate

Cynthia Shellman, a community cook from St Saviour’s Church, Guildford, has learned how to make the most of surplus food donations and minimise food waste in the Tesco Community Cookery School with the help of Jamie Oliver.

The church in Woodbridge Road is among 7,000 charities and community groups to receive free surplus food from Tesco stores via food distribution charity Fareshare, under the supermarket’s Community Food Connection scheme.

The Tesco cookery school, launched this January, helps provide the community cooks with the knowledge to make use of whatever is in the donations that arrive at their kitchen door, whether a bumper donation of seasonal produce or more unexpected ingredients.

During the course, cooks given Jamie’s Oliver’s recipes. learn everything from knife skills and nutrition to making versatile base sauces, which can be adapted to complement a wide variety of donated food. Training is free and attendees are given cooking equipment.

Cynthia said: “It was fabulous. I learned about how to chop safely, how to prepare Jamie Oliver sauces and about nutrition. I feel like a professional now.

“I’m going to share this information with our volunteers so they can prepare nutritional food in the same way. The course will have so many benefits for so many people.”

Jamie Oliver said: “This is exactly what this programme is all about, learning new skills in the kitchen that can be passed on, all while helping to fight food waste.

“We want to give loads more amazing community cooks the confidence to create delicious, balanced meals from food that would otherwise be thrown away. It’s about empowering charities with the knowledge and tools they need to help those who need it the most.”

Tesco Community Cookery School with Jamie Oliver teaching over 1,000 community cooks how to stop good food going to waste. Picture by Andrew Parsons

Tesco is planning to train 1,000 community cooks through the Tesco Community Cookery School in 2019, with many cooks already signed up in Surrey

Martyn Lee, Tesco development chef, said: “Tesco has donated more than 60 million meals’ worth of surplus food to date, but it wouldn’t have reached those in need of a good meal were it not for local community cooks like Cynthia.”

Since 2009, Tesco has stopped sending food to landfill and in 2013, was the first retailer to publish our food waste data. In 2016, Tesco launched Community Food Connection and donated more than 300,000 meals every week.

St Saviour’s Church, Guildford

St Saviours Church supports Syrian refugees, homeless, families in need, as well as providing food courses, life skills for people in debt, further information for those who want to find out more about Christianity, and a course about depression and restored lives for those facing divorce.

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