t Borough Market From Food Waste To Feast - Ethical Hedonist

Borough Market From Food Waste To Feast

November 4, 2014 in Eat Local & Organic

Borough Market From Food Waste To Feast


Borough Market/Dragon Cafe Event

Slow Food Donated by Borough Market Turned into Stunning Food As Art Installations – Inspired by The Dutch Old Master Painters.

Nothing is more important to health, wellbeing and happiness than the quality of the food we eat. I live by Hippocrates’ wise mantra – ‘let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’.

Sadly, that concept has never been more elusive in the 21st century. Not only are many of us divorced from where our food comes from, but we are also experiencing record levels of food poverty and inequality.
While the few have a banquet of riches, thousands of children in London rely on charities like Kids Company to provide their only nutritious meal of the day, and more and more people are turning to food banks just for daily survival. And still we throw away 7.2 million tonnes of perfectly good food every year in the UK.
How can this be right in a first world country?
Borough Market/Dragon Cafe Event

Slow Food Donated by Borough Market Turned into Stunning Food As Art Installations – Inspired by The Dutch Old Master Painters

What can be done?

Last week I was invited by Borough Market and the Major’s Food Waste Scheme to see how left over food from the world famous slow food market is now being donated once a week to local charities such as the wonderful Dragon Café in St George The Martyr Church, just minutes from the one of the greatest food markets on the planet- if you have never been – do go!
Every Monday, two hundred people facing mental health challenges can come to the most wonderful, vibrant café, enjoy a delicious meal made from some of Borough Market’s star producers, and find the help and support they really need to turn around a life left in fragile limbo by mental illness.

Delicious Artisan Cheeses Donated By Neal’s Yard Making Up the Food As Art Installations

Golden October and November days

I absolutely love this time of year. I was an autumn baby, and I always feel perfectly home in the season of mellow fruitfulness – of golden October and November days…. spent wandering around my favourite slow food havens, Borough and the South Bank, spellbound by the colourful, abundant scene of painterly, fecund, colourful pumpkins, squashes, multi-coloured kale, late perfumed raspberries and aromatic bread – it is truly a season of wonder and plenty.
So I was excited to see what an army of willing chef volunteers would do with this week’s donated food treasures  – with offerings such as slow bread donated by a trio of artisan bakers – Bread Ahead, Olivier’s Bakery and Karaway’s Bakery – and a cornucopia of tempting fresh produce from Paul Wheeler, Turnips and The Fresh Olive Company and cheeses from Neal’s Yard Dairy.
There was an electrifying atmosphere of festival when I arrived at the café and a sense of Londoner’s coming together. This was an evening devoted to the riches of the imagination and the culinary larder and Sarah Wheeler, founder of Mental Fight Club and the Dragon Cafe  couldn’t have summed it up better when she described the evening as “A celebration of a beautiful, social ecosystem that is developing around the weekly surplus and donations from an every increasing list of Borough Market’s Traders.”

Slow Food Donated by Borough Market Turned into Stunning Food As Art Installations – Inspired by The Dutch Old Master Painters

Foody Art Exhibits

 The centerpiece of the evening was undoubtedly the marvellous still life, food as art installations by Food artist, Sally Scantlebury who took the Dutch masters as her inspiration, to the delight and wonder of all present. It was inspiring to see food celebrated in this way, from magnificent looking pies to the finest Neal’s Yard cheeses – from quinces to curious medlar fruits, once highly prized in Elizabethan cooking and still to be found in London’s royal parks.  Oh how I wanted to eat the exhibits!
After grazing on the most delicious cheeses and bijou little tarts, festooned with zingy, seasonal cranberries it was time for a marvellous harvest festival dance or two with the vicar of St George’s and the volunteer chefs who generously give up their Mondays to prepare the weekly feast at the Dragon café.

Our editor-in-chief, Emerald Princess, Alison Jane Reid, samples melon canapes with an unexpected dash of chilli

So there you have it – a feast of slow food, dancing and helping one’s fellow man – what better way to start the week?
Alison Jane Reid – Editor-in-Chief, Ethical Hedonist Magazine

To visit the market and for opening times go to:



Click here for more information on the governments new foodwaste project Foodsave.

FoodSave is a project aiming to work with over 240 small and medium-sized businesses in London to prevent food waste and to divert surplus food to good purposes.


The Dragon Cafe is a relaxing cafe and imaginative space open to all, in the Crypt of St George The Martyr opposite Borough tube station.

For more information on the Dragon Cafe and Mental Fight Club go to:



about the author

Alison Jane Reid

Alison Jane Reid - Journalist, Editor & Emerald Princess of Slow, Sustainable Luxury Living - 18 year track record interviewing real icons for: The Times, The Lady, You, The Mirror and Country Life. Now leading her alluring fairtrade, emerald revolution - Don’t Miss Out - Have you joined The Ethical Hedonist set?

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