We’re really excited about Series 2 of Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast that kicks off tonight. The series will focus on the issues around waste in the food industry with tonight’s programme looking at the issue of “Wonky Vegetables” and the amount of vegetables that are wasted as they don’t conform to certain shapes and sizes – and it looks like a bit of Jamie Oliver’s stardust has already turned the shunned vegetables into a product line that Asda will be trialling from late January!
When we heard Jamie Oliver and his pal Jimmy Doherty were filming one programme for the series in our home-town of Brighton and Hove we were excited and delighted to be a (very small) part of it.
Espresso Mushroom Company takes food waste (in the form of used coffee grounds) and upcycles them into gourmet mushrooms – most of which can be grown at home in our Kitchen Gardens, although we also supply a handful of local restaurants in Brighton including Silo, the UK’s first Zero Waste restaurant, and Terre à Terre, who are runner up in Best Restaurant category of Observer Food Magazine Food Awards for the last 4 years.
In our episode, Jamie and Jimmy turn their attention to sell by dates which lead to thousands of tonnes of food being thrown out every year. They team up with chefs Doug McMasters from Silo, Matty Bowling from Terre à Terre, as well as Sam and Connor from Real Junk Food cafes, to create a Food Waste Feast, using only food that is past it’s sell by date, or (in our mushrooms case) part of the food waste solutions.
We were stoked to have the chance to meet Jamie Oliver and introduce our mushrooms to him – and to be championing food waste solutions at the same time was amazing. Jamie is such an inspiration for us; he makes good, fresh, home cooked food feel so much more accessible for millions of people around the planet, and the excitement and fascination of growing your own mushrooms (and other herbs and vegetables) really builds on the idea of cooking delicious meals from scratch.
Robbie and Jon swung by Jamie’s pop-up kitchen tent with some fresh Kitchen Garden kits growing Pearl Oyster mushrooms which were duly harvested and added to a Mushroom Broth the Doug was cooking up. It was great to chat to Jimmy, a fellow enthusiast and farmer about the joys of mushroom farming while the feast was being cooked up.
It was fantastic to see the array of culinary delights that the chefs cooked up using short dated food – worth watching the programme just to see what Jamie Oliver did with a couple of cucumbers (they tasted great afterwards), and Alex was lucky to join the great and the good of Brighton’s food scene for the feast.
We left the feast after a fantastic meal, excitement of Jamie and Jimmy’s praise of our humble mushrooms, feeling really enthusiasm about how the power of celebrity can be used as a force for positive change, and delighted that off camera both Jamie and Jimmy really were the great guys that we see on our screens!
You’ll have to keep watching Friday Night Feast on Friday evenings C4 at 8pm to see us!