Simply put The Forgotten Feast is a roaming restaurant that supports the ugly, the unwanted and the unloved. It creates an unforgettable celebration of taste that centres itself on the use of wild and seasonal foods, wasted foods and foods that have been forgotten or ignored by the modern world.
Times are changing, and it’s time for change in the way we eat. ‘The Forgotten Feast’ is both revolutionary in it’s approach, and fundamentally simple in its principles. The people behind The Forgotten Feast believe that the 20 million tonnes of annual food wastage that exists within our society is inexcusable. This wastage can take the form of fresh fish discarded into the sea, unusual cuts of meat unused through lack of demand, and the massive fruit and vegetable wastage right down the line from grower to supplier.
The catalyst for Forgotten Feast was a meeting of minds, food waste activists Eloise Dey and Emily Elgar and ‘Eco Chef’ Tom Hunt came together to work on ‘Feast on The Bridge’ a ‘pop up’ restaurant on London Bridge that would salvage unwanted ingredients and treat Londoners to a celebration of flavour in the early autumn of 2011. The menu centred on sustainably caught fish that are often overlooked by the mainstream, served with surplus veg from Able and Cole, bone marrow from the local butchers and free local stale bread. This event was so successful that those involved decided it could not be a one off. Author and campaigner Tristram Stuart, along with Emily and Eloise were already responsible for ‘A Taste of Freedom’, an enterprise that raises awareness about food waste through educational outreach, and ‘Feeding the Five Thousand’, an event in 2009, repeated in 2011, which fed 5000 people using fresh ingredients that would otherwise have gone to waste. Tom Hunt, an idealistic and innovative chef, with wide experience of international cuisine felt driven to collaborate in bringing the ethos of the enterprise and the event to banqueting around the country.
Diners at the Forgotten Feast are given a new and inspiring experience, as the dishes appear before them they are dazzled by the richness and flavour, the freshness of the ingredients and can’t help but be aware of the spontaneity behind the kitchen’s creations. Behind the scenes Tom and his team have been provided with an eclectic mix of ingredients that are unique to each event. Fresh, in tune with the seasons and sourced according to the governing principles of the restaurant. They have worked these varied threads into a tapestry that will delight the senses, and in an atmosphere of fun and creativity that may seem out of place in a kitchen of such calibre. This is campaigning and activism with a new and intriguing face, that of celebration. A celebration of the wholesome and the decadent, the sumptuous and the simple, the ethical and the imaginative.
The goal of The Forgotten Feast is as simple as it is ambitious. They will be both directly and culturally effecting change, by acting as the saviours of large quantities of unwanted food and by making a clear and public declaration against waste. The team are planning a fixed home for the project, where food and community can come together. They see this as both a high calibre restaurant and educational forum. This will be no ‘green-washed’ endeavour but one which will be the benchmark for a restaurant that is intrinsically sustainable, in everything from the food to the furniture.