Design is Human
Sunday Brunch at Cambridge Cookery. Photography © Bernard McCoy.

Cambridge Cookery on Healthy dishes & Zero waste

Besides home to a university voted consistently in the world's top one and two ratings, the popular Cambridge-based (UK) cookery founded by Tine Roche makes good on eliminating food waste. Cambridge Cookery School Ltd, founded in 2008 by local chef and businesswoman Tine Roche, was created with a clear aim to promote the understanding of how to cook well and sustainably, as well as offering high-end food centered on corporate activities.

From day one, there was also a clearly defined focus on giving something back to the local community through a variety of programs: hands-on classes for children built around the understanding of good food, nutrition, and sustainability; cooking classes for the general public; team corporate events; and engagement with the local community through links to charities and schools.

"What you get is healthy and delicious dishes deeply rooted in her Scandinavian upbringing and travels abroad. Cambridge Cookery is a must-stop when in the UK."
— Bernard McCoy, MA! founder and editor-in-chief, Design is Human

Sunday Brunch at Cambridge Cookery. Photography © Bernard McCoy.

Sunday Brunch at Cambridge Cookery. Photography © Bernard McCoy.

Roche has based the business on the values behind One Planet Living, as set out by UK-based sustainability charity Bioregonal, with a 10-step approach to holistic sustainability.

Bioregional advises the UN as well as governments and organizations around the globe on sustainability.

The Cookery School Cafe employs a team of creative and highlytalented Cordon Bleu trained chefs and artisan bakers.

The emphasis is on exceptional seasonal and regional food. Since its inception, the cafe has supported local homeless charity Jimmy’s with cooked meals. After completing all the obvious sustainability tasks, such as no longer selling bottled water, forbidding disposable cups, and tweaking portion sizes, the key to becoming zero–food waste was to increase the amount of good leftovers.

The Cafe now takes imperfect produce from small, local, and organic markets that are unable to find commercial outlets willing to take fruits and vegetables that are no longer perfectly crisp and shiny.

The chefs use that produce to create 30 cooked meals for Jimmy’s every Friday. In addition, it clears out its fridge and store every Friday, placing leftovers on the counter during the popular Friday-night wine bar. The fact that the cafe openly—albeit tongue in cheek—refers to the meals as “leftovers” has received hugely
positive feedback.

The food is often entirely plant based, occasionally with the addition of high-quality, organic animal protein. Oversized platters of salads made from roasted local beets, goat’s curd, and yogurt-based dressings, or roasted fennel with red chili and lemon dressing—plus freshly baked breads—have become a magnet for lovers of handmade food.