Chef and Hospitality Manager at Harrogate Neighbours, Stephen Wilkins has volunteered in the kitchen at the Resurrected Bites Café the Methodist Church on Gracious Street, Knaresborough as part of a long-term relationship between the two non-for-profit organisations.
Resurrected Bites, a community based oganisation with sites in Harrogate and Knaresborough was set up in 2018 to tackle food waste and food poverty and relies heavily on local businesses and volunteers to thrive. Due to the lockdowns, the cafes had to close, but in Autumn 2021 they reopened providing affordable, nutritious home-cooked meals for families and individuals to enjoy on a ‘pay-as-you-feel’ basis.
Stephen took on the role as ‘Head Chef’ in the kitchen cooking up a delicious variety of food for over 70 customers. All the ingredients were donated on the morning from local supermarkets and meals on the menu included, slow cooked lemon and thyme chicken with roast potatoes, beef lasagna and a vegan alternative, followed by strawberry cheesecake and assorted cakes.
One of the customers on the day, Claire said:
It’s good for people to get out and mix. The food is always outstanding, and the volunteers are always really friendly.
Michelle Hayes, Founder of Resurrected Bites said:
It was wonderful having Stephen in the kitchen with us. Creating such a fantastic menu in such a short space of time based on the ingredients donated took some skill!
Our pay-as-you-feel concept means that everyone can enjoy a meal out. It brings people and families together at a time where loneliness and social isolation is at an all-time high. We’re so grateful for the support from Harrogate Neighbours – not only have Stephen and other members of the team committed to volunteering on a regular basis, but they also donate £1 from every ‘Special Moments’ Afternoon Tea box sold, which we are so thankful for.
Stephen Wilkins, Head of Hospitality at Harrogate Neighbours said:
it’s great to be able to give something back to such a worthwhile organisation. I loved the challenge of preparing and cooking meals with such a tight turnaround.
We are a great community which is stronger together. Supporting each other, particularly in tough times is so important and we’re pleased we’re in a position to help.