Food Champion Lakshmi at Leyland Food Festival

Our lovely Food Champion, Lakshmi Baker worked with a team of Syrian families to create some delicious recipes at the Leyland Food Festival.


Lancashire: My Food Roots, BBC Radio 4


BBC Radio 4’s Sheila Dillon returned to Lancashire to explore her “food roots”. Sheila met with a variety of people – from food producers, to cooks to campaigners – including the Larder’s very own, Kay Johnson.

From the BBC description:

“Kay Johnson is a food campaigner who grew up in Lancashire, worked abroad, and came back to the county six years ago. Noticing a deep disconnect around food, she’s working to reconnect people, food producers, and the fresh local produce of the region. Kay draws direct inspiration from a social reform movement that was involved with setting up the Sailor’s and Soldier’s Free Buffet that operated at Preston station during World War One.”

Listen to Kay’s involvement on the show here.


Feast for Peace, Preston food festival

Feast For Peace Event


Feast for Peace is a simple concept about getting people together to celebrate diversity through cooking and enjoying multicultural influences from around the world, whether it be dancing, music or a taste of something new.

Directly quoted from Kay Johnson, Director of The Larder; “In a very short time, a group of incredible people from all aspects of Preston’s multicultural community have pooled their expertise and resources to help organise Feast for Peace which will send out the message to the people of the city (and possibly the rest of Lancashire) that ‘if we can eat together we can live together’. We talk about how sharing food together breaks down cultural and religious barriers and that it has a role to play in conflict resolution, now seems the ideal time to test this out.’’

“Our plan is to invite the people of Preston and beyond to leave their labels behind and to share a delicious meal together, listen to some music and join in with some dancing. We will have a team of culinary experts who will be cooking dishes from around the world with ingredients intercepted from landfill, we will also have amazing world music from DJs, bands and Samba drummers and dancers.”

This event builds on the success of similar events held over the last year, such as Disco Soup and Pumpkin Fest. However, this time there will be a fusion of dishes from Malaysia, India, Jamaica, Lancashire and Poland cooked by a team of culinary experts such as Carol Harris, Guardian Home Cook of the Year, and Dorret Conway from the Great British Bake Off.

Feast for Peace, Preston food festival

With the aspirations presented above and the amalgamation of skills brought together, this event was a rousing success.

On the day of the event, over 1,000 people gathered in Preston Flag Market to eat, listen to music and dance together! An excellent team of local chefs created an array of delicious meals with ingredient that were headed for landfill. There were dishes from India, the Caribbean, Poland, Malaysia and (breaking the trend) Lancashire.

Adding to the multicultural cuisine, we had amazing world music including a reggae DJ, a samba band, and Bollywood, Irish and Middle Eastern dancers who encourage crowds to interact and join in with the festivities.

Amazingly, as with all of the Larder’s event, there was no budget to achieve this showcase of support against racism and intolerance that was evident in the news following the EU referendum results. Instead, the Larder relied on the goodwill and hard work of friends, colleagues and strangers who quickly became our friends.


Food Champions Programme


Food Champions are key to our focus of spreading healthy and sustainable dietary messages. The programme aims to train people to deliver practical cookery sessions and healthy eating workshops to hard-to-reach and vulnerable groups across Lancashire, with successful Food Champions also to be trained and supported to run pop-up cafes in community centres, church halls, etc.

The course covers cookery skills, budgeting, teaching, and group work skills, and upon successful completion, Food Champions are to be provided with ongoing support and further training from our partners.


John Gilmore and Kay Johnson discussing Pumpkin Fest on BBC Radio Lancashire

Pumpkin Fest Event


The Larder’s work didn’t stop following the success of the Disco Soup event. In November 2015, after being contacted by a local farmer who was left with a field of unwanted pumpkins following Halloween, the Larder held an extremely successful Pumpkin Fest on Preston Market – feeding another 400 people and intercepting food sources that would have otherwise gone to waste!


Disco Soup Event


In 2015 the Larder began a food waste campaign in Preston, supporting national drives such as Love Food Hate Waste and Hugh’s War on Waste. This campaign was kicked off in August with Lancashire’s first ever ‘Disco Soup’ event, with dedicated volunteers feeding over 400 people via surplus food donated from supermarkets and local farmers.