London Food Board chair launches 2015 festival

Rosie square framedStreatham Food Festival kicked off on June 3rd with a school visit from the Chair of the London Food Board, Rosie Boycott.

Pupils from Hitherfield Primary welcomed Rosie to the school and invited her to harvest salad in their Edible Playground. Rosie also joined pupils in the school dining hall for a lunch of competition winning dishes by the children.

The festival recipe competition invited pupils to create a dish that celebrates the area’s rich cultural mix and Hitherfield selected Eliana Shotola with her Nigerian Jollof Rice as their winner. Two runner-up dishes were also on the menu – Ellie Hindson’s Chickpea, Carrot and Cumin Pitta Pockets and Isabella Fifkova-Foster’s Slovakian Honey Cake.

Schoolchildren throughout Streatham took part in the competition and many of the winning dishes were served for lunch at participating schools, thanks to catering partner ISS Education. The final took place at the festival’s Sunday Food Fair on June 7th and the overall winning dish was cooked in the festival’s Demo Tent by local caterer and cooking teacher, Maria Monk.

Rosie met the Hitherfield winner as part of her visit and learnt more about the school’s work on food as one of the borough’s lead schools in the Mayor of London’s Food Flagship programme. Lambeth is one of only two London boroughs to be awarded the status of ‘Food Flagship’ in recognition of their leading work on tackling child obesity.

As chair of the Mayor’s London Food Board, Rosie Boycott initiated the flagship programme. She says:

“It’s crucial that we find new and effective ways to engage children in healthy eating – that’s what the flagship programme is all about. Initiatives like Streatham Food Festival and Edible Playgrounds are a brilliant way of supporting children and the wider community to develop a healthier and more sustainable relationship with food.”

As a Lambeth Food Flagship School, Hitherfield is working with other primaries in the area to help implement the School Food Plan. Headteacher Chris Ashley-Jones says:

“At Hitherfield we take a whole-school approach to food; with our Edible Playground we have brought the growing and harvesting of fruit and vegetables into the curriculum for all age groups. We are developing cooking activities for children and work closely with our school caterer to serve our home grown crops as part of our school meals. We hope to inspire other schools and show how it’s possible to get kids really excited about healthy, sustainable food both as part of the curriculum and through the wider school environment.”

Streatham Food Festival director Pauline Milligan says:

“We were thrilled to have Rosie joining us on the first day of the festival and excited to be working with Hitherfield to share their inspiring approach to food. We hope our festival recipe competition and partnership with Hitherfield will get more kids growing, cooking and eating food that’s good for people and planet, as well as celebrating the fantastic cultural diversity in our local community. Our festival is all about showcasing Streatham’s vibrant food scene and bringing people together through a shared love of food – Rosie’s visit to Hitherfield was the perfect start to this year’s programme!”

You can view photos of Rosie’s visit and the recipe competition final on our Facebook page.