Climate change: Winners of Brent to Bowl celebrate their dishes from around the world
- Credit: Nathalie Raffray
Dishes from around the world have made their way into an online cookbook thanks to amateur climate conscious chefs in Brent.
From Brent to Bowl is a collection of recipes shared by local people with a love of food which promotes using up leftovers and reducing food waste.
The 20 winning recipes were chosen from 40 entrants following a community competition by environmental group Veolia and Brent Council.
Judges looked for dishes that benefit the environment through their use of leftovers, by producing zero waste or by being plant-based.
The resulting e-book contains a foreword by celebrity chef Asma Khan, who writes that the "best mangoes from India and Pakistan are sold in Kingsbury," and it includes a cake by Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussein.
Each dish, ranging from stir-fries to beetroot smoothies, celebrates the borough's rich diversity and heritage, with cultural stories of reducing food waste that have been passed down through generations.
At its launch on (Wednesday, November 9) winners received a hard back copy of the book, which will also be available in all Brent's libraries, and a £75 voucher gifted by the London Design Outlet.
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Mistura Yusuf, who lives in Church End, entered a Nigerian Amala dish and said she felt "humbled" by her win.
"It takes me back to my youth when we travelled from Lagos, which was hot, to my hometown of Ogmoboso," she said. "It used to be a morning meal but now it is popular at parties."
Stephen Hull offered his Brent Blackberry Fool with crunchy oat biscuits, made with blackberries picked in Brentfield Open Space in Neasden. "There are thousands and thousands of blackberries and a lot of them go to waste. You see them at the end of summer and they've rotted away so last year I decided to pick them."
Amisah Babla-Vagani entered vegan milk lollies with no added sugar, honey or syrup, which she originally made for her two children, five and two, "but my husband asks for them," she added.
She said her win was "brilliant". "It's so nice being here and seeing where these recipes come from. It's really exciting to go home and try some of them out."
Nishma Shah made Pau Bhaji, vegan canapes with warm curry spices. "Bread is wasted a lot so it's a perfect combination."
She also made the four dishes from the cookbook for the launch party, which included Steve's plant-based pasty, Lamise's Muhalabi and Stephen's oat biscuits. "The were not very difficult to make. it's also the whole point of the book, just to use the ingredients in your kitchen."
"I stole the recipe from my mum," said Lamise Hassan about her Muhalabi, a fragrant Iraqi rice pudding. "It feels amazing to be here, it feels good to be part of the community that got broken during Covid."
Mother of four Jacqueline Cain, who has a restaurant in Boxpark Wembley, entered Mama Jacqs Caribbean Stew Baked Chicken. "The recipe is just something you can do with food leftovers. I give it to my kids so I know kids love it so I decided to share it."
Gisele Endres, senior contract manager at Veolia, said there were two reasons the cookbook was "amazing".
"Brent is one of the most diverse areas in the UK and I'm proud to celebrate the community through their passion for food," she added.
"Food waste is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions. If food waste was a country, it would be the third highest of greenhouse gas emissions behind China and America.
"We can all do our part."
She said the cookbook shows people how to reduce food waste and save money.
Cllr Muhammed Butt, Brent Council leader, said an estimated four and a half tonnes of food is wasted every year. "That's enough to fill Wembley Stadium nine times over," he added. "That does make me feel a bit upset and a bit sick that there's so much waste."