Burnley cooks among first in UK to learn some top tips from celebrity chef

Jamie Oliver at work with two of the chefs at the Tesco Community Cookery School.
Jamie Oliver at work with two of the chefs at the Tesco Community Cookery School.
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Cooks in Burnley will be among the first in the country to join the Tesco Community Cookery School with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Headed by Jamie, around 1,000 community cooks will be trained on how best to use surplus food donations to help stop good food going to waste.

Among those taking part in the very first class will be cooks from Burnley FC in the Community which is an award-winning official charity of the Burnley Football Club.

The charity works hard to deliver its mission to inspire, support and deliver change to communities across Burnley, Pendle, Rossendale, the Ribble Valley and West Yorkshire.

Tesco has been focusing on reducing food waste for over decade.

In 2009, Tesco stopped sending food to landfill and in 2013, became the first retailer to publish its food waste data.

In 2016, it made a commitment that no food safe for human consumption will go to waste in its operations.

Since then, every week it donates 300,000 meals of surplus food to over 7,000 different community and charity groups.

The school has been developed in partnership with FareShare and will help community groups by offering training and advice on how to prepare nutritionally balanced meals out of surplus food donations.

One of the challenges facing community cooks is how to prepare unusual or unexpected ingredients and large quantities of seasonal produce, and so using recipes designed by Jamie Oliver and Tesco’s development chefs will ensure community cooks make the most of surplus food and reduce food waste.

The cooks will learn everything from knife skills and nutrition to recipes for versatile base sauces, which can be adapted to compliment a wide variety of donated food. Training will be free and attendees will receive free cooking equipment and a folder featuring Jamie’s food surplus recipes.

Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said: “Surplus food donations can make a huge difference to people in need, but can also create challenges for community cooks faced with unexpected, unusual or large volumes of a particular product.

Jamie Oliver said: “It’s fantastic to join the work that Tesco and FareShare are doing to reduce food waste.

"I’ve written these recipes to arm all those amazing community cooks with the tools to create something delicious and balanced for people who need it the most.

"It is all about giving otherwise-wasted ingredients some love, and transforming them into tasty, nutritious meals.

"For me, every dish we cook that reduces food waste is a winner."

Every day all Tesco stores are set up to donate their surplus food to charity and community groups.

So far, Tesco has donated over 60 million meals of surplus food to charities and good causes.