Wok for 1,000Ethical Food & Drink News & Features
Main image credit: Kris Kirkham
On Tuesday 30 October, celebrity chef Jeremy Pang – along with a team of helpers – will descend upon London’s iconic Borough Market to make 4,000 dumplings, 700 Hong Kong Noodle Stir Fries and 700 litres of Massaman Curry in just 4 hours, for over 1,000 people living within London’s homeless community and anyone facing food poverty.
The event is in support of Plan Zheroes, a food donation platform for donating or accessing great surplus food, supporting your local community, reducing food waste and helping the environment.
Reaching out to gather such quantities of surplus food from the capital’s wide and varying mix of eateries is no easy task, but it’s one Jeremy is determined to pull together. He’ll be aided by his School of Wok team from the Asian cookery school, which he founded in London’s Covent Garden.
Food waste in the UK
Jeremy was shocked into taking action after discovering the devastating amount of consumable food that is thrown away every day across the UK.
A recent report by wrap.org.uk says 4.2 million tons of food that could have been consumed in Britain is binned each year, which is the equivalent of 24 meals a month for the average British household.
Jeremy is now campaigning to highlight what can be achieved in just a few hours when a dedicated team of people come together to help others.
‘For me Wok for 1,000 has two purposes: firstly to deliver a delicious and memorable meal to the homeless people of London, and secondly to encourage everyone to do a little something to support others within the local community, because if we all take small steps to make a difference – big changes will happen.’
Small steps for big changes
Social responsibility is very much at the heart of this year’s Wok for 1,000 – in particular corporate social responsibility. Companies across London and the UK have been invited to book a table, roll up their sleeves and encourage staff to do their bit in preparing food on the day. This for Jeremy is a vital ingredient that’s central to the wider message of of Wok for 1,000.
‘The buzz and satisfaction from physically doing something to help others is honestly immeasurable. I cannot put into words how good it feels to go home after the event itself and reflect, thinking there are so many people out there enjoying a hot meal they might not have had and what that would mean to them. It’s incredible. And in reality, very few of us actually get the chance to have that feeling, but experience it once and I guarantee it’s actually rather addictive. Ultimately that’s the inspiration behind my campaign for us all to take small steps for big change within our local communities.’
Surplus veg ideas
Alongside the social message, Jeremy has whipped up some easy and quick-prep recipes for people to enjoy. They make use of surplus leftovers, helping households save a little money while addressing the wider problem of edible food waste and its long-term environmental impacts.
PROPER VEGGIE BURGER
Give a new lease of life to those leftover Sunday roast vegetables that never taste quite as good the next day. Alternatively, Jeremy has a few ideas up his sleeve about to how to use up extra vegetables and uneaten cooked meat creatively. ‘Chop it all up nice and fine; add light soy sauce, sesame oil and a pinch of sugar; mix; wrap in a spring roll, a wonton or a gyoza. Delicious.’
LEFTOVER CURRY SOUP
Curry is one of those rare foods, along with cold pizza, that always tastes better the next day. This meal uses those leftovers to create a delicious broth: the perfect base for a tasty noodle soup.
ASIAN THAI BEEF SALAD
For Jeremy, ‘an alternative idea for repurposing a Sunday roast beef is slicing it thinly and using for an Asian Beef Salad, with chopped pak choi, soy, mirin, sesame and olive oil dressing. Traditional English dishes don’t have to remain in the same genre as leftovers, so don’t be afraid to try something different. Braise those bamboo shoots, bung in some black beans, stir in that soy and lettuce – eat and enjoy!’