British Food Fortnight is an established annual event celebrating all that is great about food produced here at home, and care homes are among those being urged to take part.
Run by the team behind Love British Food and with the Co-op taking the lead, the Fortnight – which this year runs from the 22nd September-7th October – brings together people and organisations with a passion for food – including large and small care homes.
Last year Sunrise Senior Living and Gracewell Healthcare got behind British Food Fortnight. Their chefs were invited to create an event of their choice to celebrate British Food involving residents and the activities coordinators. Sunrise of Tettenhall planned and held a daily event throughout the Fortnight, which kicked off with a Great British Pub using local ale suppliers. They also ran a Downtown Abbey themed evening, a cheese and wine event, ‘Down the Chippy’, and an Alzheimer’s tea party complete with reminiscing foods and experiences. Other sites championed the seasonal menus, naming the supplier and region. The apple pie competition at Sunrise of Eastbourne involved residents in everything from the cooking to the judging, culminating in a private dining lunch where celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager came along to judge and dine with the finalists.
Sophie Murray of Sunrise Senior Living was delighted with the response: “The chefs and homes got heavily involved in the activities and made the Fortnight a very exciting time for residents and their visitors. One resident even said it was the best day of their life. We are already planning this year’s activities and look forward to making them bigger and better.”
So how can you make the most of British food and support local food and farming communities?
- Promote your participation by displaying material using the British Food Fortnight logo or Union Jack on menus and in restaurants
- Organise a special menu and expand the range of seasonal produce that you use; rather than just using the term ‘local’, name the producer or farm to give it a more personal touch
- Use phrases such as ‘seasonal veg’ on the menu that will enable you to take a variety of stock from different suppliers
- Look at your existing suppliers: if any of them are local and British make sure you tell your diners about them
- And if you are able to specify that all the meat used comes from within 30 miles of the home then highlight this on your promotional materials
- Include a ‘Chef’s Special on the menu to give you flexibility in your ordering process
- Ensure the whole kitchen, admin and front of house staff and suppliers know about the British Food Fortnight promotion well in advance and encourage them to communicate this to residents while serving food
- Create a mini farmers market in the restaurant using fruit and veg from local suppliers and producers – this will add interest, colour and help build the atmosphere.
A competition to find the most imaginative celebrations of British food taking place during the Fortnight will run in conjunction with the Telegraph. Anyone organising an event is encouraged to enter and you can visit the website www.lovebritishfood.co.uk for more information.
Promotional materials including bunting and posters are also available at www.lovebritishfood.co.uk