A collective of Yorkshire-based chefs joined Stephen Wilkins, Hospitality Manager at not-for-profit organisation, Harrogate Neighbours on February 1st
2022 to mark the 10th
anniversary of Harrogate & Ripon Food Angels - a vital ‘meals on wheels’ service.
Stephen was joined in the commercial kitchen at The Cuttings, Harrogate Neighbours’ extra care scheme by award-winning chef and consultant, Stephanie Moon, former MasterChef: The Professionals contestant and private chef, Michaela Hanna, Jason Wardill, group executive chef at the newly refurbished, West Park Hotel in Harrogate and Matthew Wilkinson, development chef at Rudding Park Hotel.
The collective of high caliber chefs prepared a choice of three meals for 100 service users who receive nutritionally balanced, hot meals delivered to their door daily. One meal was a delicious chicken dish inspired by a recipe Michaela made when she appeared on MasterChef: The Professionals 2020, and another two dishes which were chosen by the service users in a poll and brought together the very best of Yorkshire. The desert was a Yorkshire Tea Loaf served with custard.
The award-winning service has delivered just under a quarter of a million meals to vulnerable and older people living in Harrogate and the surrounding areas since its launch back in 2012. The amount of miles covered by volunteers delivering hot, homemade meals over the last 10 years equates to circling the entire world 14 times!
91-year-old Reginald was one of the first volunteers for the Harrogate & Ripon Food Angels, he said, “My late wife Betty and I started volunteering when the service first launched in 2012. It gave us both a sense of satisfaction and we really enjoyed getting to know all the service users.
“In 2020 I was forced to shield due to the pandemic, so I’ve hung up my volunteering hat, but my daughter-in-law Janet took over on my behalf – it’s nice to keep it in the family.
“I now receive meals myself – it’s an excellent service and it’s so nice to see a friendly face when the volunteers arrive at my door!”
Chef and consultant, Stephanie Moon added, “I was so excited when I was contacted to be part of this initiative. I absolutely loved the idea of making something extra special for the service users who rely so heavily on the volunteers and chef’s that prepare and deliver meals to them on a daily basis.
“I really enjoyed cooking alongside the other talented chef’s and then meeting the wonderful volunteers and recipients of the meals – it was a real pleasure delivering to their door.”
Sue Cawthray, CEO of Harrogate Neighbours commented, “We could not have reached this milestone year without the hard work and dedication from volunteers past and present.
“We hope that in the next 10 years we can grow and develop this vital service to reach even more people in need of a hot, nutritious meal delivered to their door.
“We’re so grateful of the exceptional chefs who joined forces to cook up a storm to mark this milestone for the service. It’s been a tough couple of years for the care sector as a whole, so it’s lovely to have something to celebrate.”
To help support Harrogate Neighbours through volunteering, donating, fundraising, sponsoring an event or to join the team please visit www.hnha.co.uk
or call 01423 888777.