Guest blogpost – Liberated Feast by Hugh Chapman

Summary

A contribution from Hugh Chapman on The Liberated Feast event in Cambridge on Friday 15th November, followed by some thoughts from myself.

The Liberated Feast is a wonderful thing indeed. What is the Liberated Feast? The brainchild of Jennie Debenham it’s a meal prepared by volunteers from food that would otherwise go to waste, either gleaned from local farms, or unwanted food collected from supermarkets & independent food sellers. I think about 100 tickets were sold for Friday night’s event and more on the door so in all I think there were 120+ sitting at the three long tables set out in St Paul’s church on Hills road.

It’s no mean feat cooking for 120+ and all the volunteers did a fantastic job. The food was great and so was the company. How often does one have the opportunity to enjoy a meal prepared by the hands of friends with 120+ others? I did some flower arranging, cut some bread, met some people I knew, met some people I didn’t know before, ate, drank & danced a little bit. Tickets were £10 with all proceeds from the event going to The Milimani Academy feeding programme in Kenya and Cambridge Foodcycle.

Here’s to the next Liberated Feast! If you’ve not been I can only recommend it. Get in touch with Jennie to find out how to get involved.

ps. also found out last night that Puffles has a liking for Fairtrade Malbec and if you’re ever taking part in a raffle get him to buy the tickets😉 ”

By Hugh Chapman

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As for me?

Even more people turned out than the first event – see my blogpost from July’s Liberated Feast. It required a huge amount of work from Jennie and the volunteers to put on the event. The menu was noticeably seasonal compared to the summer, when the summer berries were in abundance. But perhaps that’s how it should be if we want to reduce ‘food miles’?

It’s always nice to learn something new – in my case the acquired taste of raw chocolate. In my case I’m not a great fan of traditional dark chocolate, but the chocolate from Ombar, in the village of Fulbourn a couple of wards down from me in South Cambridge, was something I had never had before. It’s also not something you can eat lots and lots of, unlike processed chocolate. But it’s very difficult to describe why.

Although the band due to play were unable to make it up from London (I blame the trains!) we had Siana, a student at Long Road Sixth Form College and one of her dance partners performing the sort of hula-hoop displays that you only see in gymnastics tournaments. (See here for pics). Far more complex than what we did at primary school.

We also had a raffle – with two of my numbers being drawn out in succession. I only claimed one prize, opting to pull out another number from the draw instead second time around. Funnily enough, the number I drew was that of the lady who was sitting next to me whose birthday it was!

Options for future events?

This is where existing student or community societies may want to have stalls to engage with lots of people from all over the community – particularly those that have an ethical or environmental stance. (There are more than a few). Also, some of us discussed the idea of having bottles of Fairtrade wine for sale that could also help raise further funds too. The bottle of Co-op Argentinian Fairtrade Malbec I brought along went down well with everyone – it’s the bottle I go for when shopping there. One for those of you that like more full-bodied red wines.

One of the things that is now very clear to me is the impact that food has in attracting people to themed events. Whether it is free cake at a workshop to an event like this, nice food seems to be the tipping point between interested people turning up or not turning up. The more ‘home made’ it is, the better too!

Food for thought?

Puffles wins book tokens in the raffle. (Note the wine nearby too - pesky dragon fairies!)
Puffles wins book tokens in the raffle. (Note the wine nearby too – pesky dragon fairies!)

 

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