ONE of Liverpool’s top chefs was on hand to teach residents the art of cooking healthy and delicious meals on a budget during a community event in Speke.
Dave Critchley, executive head chef at restaurant Lu Ban, in the city’s Baltic Triangle, showed off his expert cooking skills when he delivered a live cookery demonstration as part of South Liverpool Homes (SLH) regular community ‘Cook It’ events.
Over 30 residents came along to watch the south Liverpool-born chef, cook up a delicious soup, stir fry and coleslaw. The audience got to sample his culinary delights and were given the opportunity to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
“These community cooking events are all about teaching tenants the art of cooking healthy meals without it having to cost a fortune. We held our first Cook It in September last year which proved very popular with tenants, so we decided to do them more regularly,” said Joe Cummings, SLH’s enterprise manager.
“When Dave offered to be a guest chef at one of the events, we snapped up this opportunity – it’s not often you get to learn how to cook delicious meals from one of the best chefs in Liverpool! We can’t thank Dave enough for giving up his time and inspiring us all with his amazing recipes.”
Cook It events are designed to show residents how to cook healthy meals on a budget, SLH says. They use ingredients from the housing association’s community shop, The Market Place. This was set up in 2016 to offer low cost food to tenants who are struggling to put food on the table.
The shop’s supply comes from two sources – food waste charity Fareshare and Grow Speke, an urban community garden in the heart of Speke delivered in partnership with Groundwork and SLH.
Critchley added: “When the guys from South Liverpool Homes came to the restaurant I got talking to them about the Cook It project and felt it was something I had to get involved with.
“If I can help someone by passing on a little bit of knowledge or get people to enjoy cooking and eating more healthily then it’s job done! I have a huge passion for food and cooking, and this city has given me some great opportunities.
“If my involvement can encourage others to pursue a career in hospitality than that would be amazing. It’s an incredible industry and there’s no limit to what can be achieved.”
He has some impressive credentials to his name. As well as holding two AA rosettes, Critchley was previously head chef at the prestigious London Carriage Works, has appeared on The One Show and is the first non-Chinese apprentice of a world-famous Chinese Masterchef.
Main Image: Dave Critchley with residents at the Cook It event in Speke.