Chef Mark Greenaway announces Cyrenians as his charity of the year

over 1 year AGOAdministrator Gourmet Gossip

Edinburgh based chef Mark Greenaway has announced that over the next twelve months he will be working closely with Cyrenians as Restaurant Mark Greenaway’s nominated charity of the year.  Cyrenians serves those on the edge, working with the homeless and vulnerable to transform their lives, helping them believe that they can change their lives, and walking with them as they lead their own transformation.

 

A huge part of what Cyrenians does is focused on food and this is where Mark hopes to help.  They believe that food is the essence of everything.  It’s about caring, sharing, eating together and developing community through food; “something to eat, someone to eat with”.  

Mark is already working closely with Cyrenians Farm, a social enterprise located west of Edinburgh.  This is a working farm selling fresh local produce to restaurants, delis, grocers, and through an innovative veg-bag scheme.  The farm is also home to a community of vulnerable young people who have come from a 'tough reality'. It offers a shared space where young people, residents and volunteers, can live and learn together, helping them to develop independent living skills. Over the past year Mark has built up a close connection with Rob Davidson, the farm’s Enterprise Manager.  The farm now directly supplies Restaurant Mark Greenaway with produce grown specifically for them.  Mark hopes to continue and grow this relationship throughout the year along with helping to promote the amazing produce by creating a collection of inspiring recipes using ingredients from their veg-bags.   The farm has become such an important supplier to the restaurant that Mark has chosen to feature them in his upcoming cookbook, Perceptions – Recipes from Restaurant Mark Greenaway, which launches on the 12th July.

Cyrenians also run a Good Food Programme, a social enterprise that supports people through access to food, improves their health and wellbeing, and develops skills and confidence around cooking. Last year, they distributed nearly 300 tonnes of surplus food. It is a “hand up not a handout” benefitting some 4,500 people every week. They also provide classes with 'hands on' activities that encourage healthy eating and promote social inclusion. Mark was honoured to be asked to teach one of these classes last year.    Throughout the year he will once again teach a selection of classes as well as helping the Good Food depot in their upcoming expansion. 

Mark said “I am extremely proud to be an ambassador for Cyrenians.  Their link with food captured my interest initially and I hope to offer them a helping hand in as many ways possible.  As a chef, the idea of empowering people through food is one that is very close to my heart and I am really looking forward to working with the entire team throughout the year. “ 

Ewan Aitken, Chief Executive of Cyrenians said: “Food to eat and the people to eat it with – the most crucial parts of human existence. There is a high value in food- giving our bodies the nutrients and energy it needs in order to survive. However, the community we keep around the table is just as, if not more, important than the food itself. Good conversations and good company build good relationships which are what keep us thriving and make us feel like we matter.  Mark’s support for our upcoming events that will bring people together around food, as a customer of our farm’s produce, and an honorary guest tutor for our GoodFood Education classes fit perfectly with our aims around Community and Food.  We are delighted to have Mark Greenaway’s support, and look forward to working together over the coming year to find more ways to provide Something to Eat and Someone to Eat With.”

Over the course of the year, Mark and Cyrenians will be working together on a collection of seasonal events and initiatives including a summer street food party, a barbeque at the farm, an exclusive breakfast event and cooking classes to name just a few.  The ultimate goal is to expand and promote the charity and the remarkable work that they do.   

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