Review: Rubbish Cooks at Parker’s Tavern, Cambridge

Enjoy a ‘free’ dinner at Parker’s Tavern, Cambridge, as part of its new charitable supper club.

A charitable supper club has launched at Parker’s Tavern, Cambridge. Designed to inspire and educate about food waste, chef Tristan Welch has created a three-course menu using only ingredients that are considered ‘waste’.

Image credit: Chris Roberts

Taking place on the last Monday of every month, diners will eat for ‘free’ and  pay only £20 for a cover charge as well as a £5 donation to Jimmy’s Night Shelter.

Rather than seeing food thrown in the bin, Tristan has sourced produce from suppliers such as wonky vegetables, forgotten cuts of meat, dented tins and stale bread to name a few, to create a tasty menu for diners to enjoy.

Intrigued, I attended the launch (30 September) to see what concoctions would be served. Would I see mould on my food? Would I break a tooth on rock hard bread? Only time would tell…

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The evening started with ravioli of artichokes, mature cheese that was past its sell-by-date but still good to eat and under ripe tomato salsa. It worked. In fact, it was delicious and my favourite dish of the evening.

Next up was soup using fish cheeks and collars with dented tin beans. I was apprehensive about this one; fish cheeks don’t sound particularly appealing. However, it was delicious. Light and full of flavour.

Lamb shoulder knuckle was served for main with braised baby cabbage and crushed wonky vegetables. Tristan explained the lamb had been cooked for four and half hours. The meat was tasty but I’m not sure I’ll be using the end of the cabbage at home, a bit too crunchy for my liking.

Dessert was peach pie with ginger bread ice cream. An unusual combination but very tasty. I couldn’t quite manage to eat it all as I was so full.

To finish we were served coconut and chocolate petit flours. Tristan chuckled as he placed them on the table and said: “I can’t believe I’m serving this.”

He went on to explain that the ingredients for the evening’s feast had arrived at 10.30am. He had absolutely no idea what would be arriving. It was quick thinking and creativity from himself and his team to pull together a delicious menu.

‘Rubbish Cooks’ has opened my eyes to food waste in the restaurant industry and has made me reconsider what I throw away at home.

The supper club is sure to be a sell-out every month. I highly recommend making a reservation to experience this creative take on food. Dietary requirements can also be catered for. 

Tickets for the next ‘Rubbish Cooks’ on 28 October will be released on social media on 7 October.

How to book: Rubbish Cooks will run on the last Monday of each month subsequently. Guests can pre-book via email only on [email protected]. Guests will be charged £20 per head for a three-course set menu, £5 of which will donated to Jimmy’s Night Shelter.

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