Share Published on December 4, 2019

We went for a three-course meal in Cambs made entirely of food waste - here's what happened

Chef at Parker's Tavern, Tristan Welch, is trying to turn leftovers into a first-class meal, but does it work?

I didn't think I'd ever be willingly be on my way to eat stale bread and overripe fruit, but that's exactly what I was doing when I went to the second ever 'Rubbish Cooks' night at Parker’s Tavern on October 28.

That's because on the last Monday of every month the swanky restaurant off Parker’s Piece is now serving meals made entirely from leftovers.

In a new initiative to combat food waste that launched on the 30th of September, Chef Director Tristan Welch takes the free leftovers from his suppliers and tasks himself to make a first-class menu with the scraps.

Tristan believes: “Restaurants are a notoriously wasteful business and tend to focus too much on premium ingredients and cuts at the expense of perfectly good food that might not look perfect. This is why we’ve worked closely with our suppliers who are helping us find new ways to eliminate waste from their supply chains.”

For £20 you get a four-course meal, £5 of which goes to Jimmy’s Night Shelter. The meal is seen as 'free', with the £20 contribution going towards service and the charitable donation.

I'll be honest and say that I was a bit sceptical. How could they possibly create a first-class dining experience using only leftovers? I was and remain fully on board with the attempt to tackle waste for the sake of the environment, but was unsure whether this would translate into actually good food worth my money.

And I was with my girlfriend, so I wanted our date night to be special.

It turns out I had nothing to worry about because it was so worth it.

Reviewed by Debbie Luxon

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University Arms Hotel Cambridge update

In light of the Government announcement on the 23rd of December, we at University Arms and Parker’s Tavern will close our doors on Boxing Day.

If you have a reservation, please know that we will contact you about this, however should you have concerns, please do call our team on 01223 606066. 

To stay up to date with our opening, please do sign up to our newsletter.

I look forward to welcoming you in 2021.

Ian James

General Manager

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