Long Table launch for Gloucestershire Foodie Awards

Tom Herbert of The Long Table speaking at the Gloucestershire Foodie Awards[2]

The Gloucestershire Foodie Awards, sponsored by Visit Gloucestershire, were launched at the Long Table in Stroud, Gloucestershire last week.

The Long Table is a unique Community Interest Company (CIC) which promotes local food, supports the community and provides training, and work opportunities and it’s true ethos was demonstrated during the evening thanks to head chef Maisie, who produced a dahl, pickles and bread baked on the premises, and the no-seating-plan arrangement where all guests sat at long tables and struck up conversation.

The Gloucestershire Foodie Awards champions the Pay As You Can initiative developed by The Long Table. If a diner can afford to pay £6 for each meal, they can. But for those struggling who need a free meal, the Long Table can offer meals paid forward by the local community ready for anyone who needs it. Contributions over £6 help other people eat the same great food for less.

Tom Herbert, the man behind The Long Table, said: “We receive produce that is left over – we never know what we are going to get. We create delicious bowls of food with a Pay as you Can philosophy and introduce a Forward pay scheme. If you can pay, please do, and if you can’t, no problem. The aim is to sit down, enjoy a good bowl of food, and start chatting with who you are next to. I’ve grown up sitting down to eat a nutritious meal and chatting, but so many people can’t – whether they can’t afford or are on their own, or both. In addition, we offer apprenticeships and a seed bank – pick up a packet, take it home and grow.”

Jonathan Smith, Foodie Awards Founder, and Director, added: “We are proud to support the Long Table. Our ethos at The Gloucestershire Foodie Awards is supporting the food, drinks, and hospitality community, and initiatives to become more sustainable through creating a like-minded community – the Foodie Awards want to make a real difference through community.”

Steve Gardner-Collins, Director and Chair at Visit Gloucestershire, said: “I had a speech prepared for this launch, which I will need to relate as part of my job, but I’m going to put that aside for now. This evening has touched me. Adopting two children whose background with food is challenging and presents itself daily as a reoccurring problem, what the Long Table stands for, and the Gloucestershire Foodie Awards supporting this wonderful CIC business have blown me away. It’s a note to all. We are delighted to be the headline sponsor.”

Jonathan continued, “As well as launching the Gloucestershire Foodie Awards, we want to encourage everyone to purchase an additional ‘One Meal’ Coin as part of the Pay Forward scheme and reach the target of an 1000 additional meals to offer 1000 people, who can’t afford to pay, a nutritious bowl of food. We are delighted to support The Long Table.”

The Gloucestershire Foodie Awards awards free to enter, and we call out to all food, drink, and hospitality businesses to enter. Entries will close on 2 Sept 2022. We are also seeking industry-led judges and further sponsorship to support initiatives and the Long Table ethos.”

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