Eastwood MP in cooking challenge to show how to create with emergency food parcel

Eastwood MP Lee Anderson took part in a ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ challenge to highlight what can be created from a typical emergency food parcel handed out to local families in need.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 4:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 4:25 pm
MP Lee Anderson (right) taking part in the 'Ready, Steady, Cook' challenge

Ashfield’s Academy Transformation Trust Further Education (ATTFE) college organised the competition Mr Anderson and Mansfield counterpart Ben Bradley.

Through its community interest company 'Let's All Eat', ATTFE College has delivered more than 12,000 emergency food parcels since the start of the pandemic through professional referrals.

Liz Barrett, volunteer director of Let's All Eat, said: “The emergency need for food parcels isn't going away.

"During the past 18 months we have however developed a very strong approach to supporting this need which now allows up to focus on teaching cooking skills to food parcel recipients to help them eat well on a budget.”

The 'Ready, Steady Cook' competition saw Mr Bradley cook a tasty chicken and chorizo pasta dish followed by mixed fruit puff pastry tarts.

Mr Anderson was assisted by Linda Smith, ATTFE college tutor. Together they cooked grilled chicken breasts with ratatouille and steamed rice along with blueberry, apple and orange parcels.

Award winning Chef Dave Marshall, of Porterhouse restaurant, Annesley, was on hand to help both teams with cooking skills and to share budgeting ideas, suggestions and tips.

Simon Martin, vice principal at ATTFE college, did a great job of compering the whole event and shared frightening-food waste statistic along with cheesy food jokes!

Mr Anderson said: “This was a great experience. Chef Dave showed us how to batch cook on a budget. The food was great quality and easy to make.”

Mr Bradley, who is also the leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “I had a great time and was surprised how much can be made on a budget.

"All dishes were really easy to make and really healthy. A great initiative”.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The contest was declared a draw but one of the main aims was to shine a spotlight on how to cook healthy food on a budget at a time when many families are relying on food banks.