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Cactus Kitchens

Clapham veterans’ charity enjoys spoils of War on Waste.

16 November 2015 09:15


At one end of the street is the Michel Roux Jr Cookery School at Cactus Kitchens where top chefs teach students how to cook gourmet meals. At the other is veteran’s charity, the West Indian Association of Service Personnel (WASP). And although cookery school and charity are near neighbours in Clapham, their day-to-day activities seem worlds apart.

But in 2014 FareShare, the food waste pressure group, introduced the Michel Roux Jr Cookery School to WASP. Cookery School director, Anna Ratcliffe, hated seeing unused ingredients from cookery classes ending up in the bin. “Chefs’ hate waste. And one of the most important lessons our students learn is that the better and more confident cook you become the less likely you will be to waste food in your kitchen.” The school were put in touch with the charity after contacting FareShare. Now the school makes regular deliveries to WASP. “We are delighted to have teamed up with WASP. If it wasn’t for FareShare we would have never known the charity existed right on our doorstep. We've both benefited as a result of the partnership and are forging stronger ties with our local community as a result. It feels really great!”

As Steve Bowen of WASP explains, “We are here to offer a helping hand to those who it need it most”. The charity is a lifeline to the many ex-servicemen and women and their dependents, irrespective of colour, race or creed, struggling to find their feet after a life in the armed forces. The charity provides an array of vital services, reaching out to the homeless, running food and clothing banks and serving meals to veterans several times a day.Bowen says, “The food is never wasted. The greens and fresh produce from Cactus Kitchens always make a welcome and popular addition to our menu. And our housebound clients, often in poor health, really appreciate receiving a freshly cooked meal from us.”


Picture: WASP's Chaplain, Reverend Marcia Da Costa collects surplus food after a day's cookery course from Steve Groves, (former Masterchef: The Professionals winner and Head Chef at Roux at Parliament Square) and the team after his Cooking the Roux Way class.

Notes to Editors:
For Interview requests, press comment or pictures contact: Keely Birch, Michel Roux Jr. Cookery School – Tel 020 7091 4800

Steve Bowen, West Indian Association of Service Personnel (WASP) – Tel: 07950 743 808

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Press Contacts

Anna Ratcliffe


Tel: 020 7091 4800

About Cactus Kitchens

Cactus Kitchens, home of the Michel Roux Jr Cookery School. Offering an array of unique cooking classes in London including the Saturday Kitchen Experience.

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