Saturday saw Curb’s very first pop-up event at a Sustainability Festival, organised by Southampton Hub and I’m pleased to say it was a success! As I mentioned previously, Curb is part of The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP), which aims to reduce food waste by preventing it from going to landfill. In a nutshell, TRJFP volunteers collect surplus food, use it to make yummy meals and then serve them to people on a pay as you feel basis.
Our first job of the day was to set up a makeshift kitchen and serving area. Given we had limited space and equipment (ie. we didn’t have an actual kitchen to work from!), we managed surprisingly well, heating food on a camping stove and going back and forth with kettles to fill our washing up bowls. Our ‘kitchen’ didn’t stay very tidy, but the addition of the flowers – rescued from a supermarket bin – were a lovely way to brighten up our counter.
So, what was on our first ever menu? Cooking from ‘waste’ means planning your menu around the food you have, rather than deciding what to cook and then buying the ingredients. Other members of the Curb team had put together a delicious Moroccan tagine the previous night, leaving us with various odds and ends for sandwiches. After much discussion of potential flavour combinations, these included brie & grape, hummus & roasted peppers and Quorn chicken & salad. Although we ‘sold out’ of all our food, we couldn’t believe how popular the toasties were and could barely get enough made in time before people were asking for more!
Around 100 people attended the festival, and as well as making lunch, we provided snacks (and banana smoothies!) during coffee breaks as well. The washing up and drying kept us pretty busy too, so I wasn’t able to go to any of the workshops that were running. Everyone I spoke to said they were enjoying themselves and learning lots though, which was great to hear. And Curb also got some positive feedback…
The festival itself, as well as our first pop up, went really well and I don’t think I’m the only one who’s excited about our next event and being able to turn more surplus food into healthy meals soon.