Last Friday, we provided support to Salisbury-based social enterprise The Pantry Partnership at an Indian-themed event to celebrate Diwali. The event raised funds for The Pantry Partnership’s projects in Ghana and the UK, which support people who have little or no access to food or cooking equipment.
We served 60 guests a three course feast of traditional Indian food including home made breads, Matter Paneer (pea and cheese curry; highly recommended) and dahl with tamarind rice, and a carrot halva with saffron cream and fruit salad for dessert. True to The Pantry Partnership and FoodCycle cause, surplus food from the local Sainsbury’s was transformed into unique Indian style appetisers including baby corn pakoras, Indian style bruschetta and spicy Brussels sprout lollipops. The Pantry Partnership’s Founder and event organiser Fiona Ollerhead told guests, “If you are given Brussels sprouts you cook with Brussels sprouts! The Pantry Partnership is all about being environmentally efficient and making the best of the food that we have”.
Fiona kindly gave me the opportunity to chat to a few guests about FoodCycle; most of them were attracted by my FoodCycle t-shirt, which was rather different to the saris and turbans that most of them were dressed in! All were enthusiastic about our work and the surplus starters, plates of which had to be constantly refilled by the outstanding Indian chef George and myself working in the kitchen.
Participating guests were dressed in colourful saris and entertained with traditional Indian dancing by the Salisbury Malayalees, an Indian youth dance troupe. We finished off the evening by joining in with some Bollywood dance moves to the Slumdog Millionaire song ‘Jai-ho!’
By Pascal Cissé