Olive Magazine

How to support the UK restaurant industry

Published: May 22, 2020 at 3:10 pm

Eating out is off the table for the foreseeable. If you think that means our beloved hangouts and producers are shutting up shop though, you can think again – in fact, they’ve been busier than ever, reimagining their offering and setting up inspiring initiatives. Here are just some of the ways they’re spreading the joy right now, and how you can get involved

Bancone, London W1 (Soho)

Bancone has now launched DIY pasta kits, which allow you to recreate some of the restaurant’s signature dishes – like cacio e pepe with bucatini, and spinach and ricotta mezzaluna ravioli with sage butter – at home. There are starters and desserts too, as well as wines. Recipe cards will show customers how to turn all the pre-portioned ingredients into some of Bancone’s most famous pasta creations. The delivery service covers a five-mile radius of the Golden Square restaurant.



ASAP Pizza, London SE1 (Borough Market)

This new launch comes from James Lowe and John Ogier, the pair behind Lyle’s and Borough Market bakery and bar, Flor. Sourdough pizzas will be made with heritage British wheat varieties and other top-drawer produce, with the menu including both classics and new creations (a twist on the Hawaiian, for instance, with pickled chilli, red onion, grilled pineapple and cured pig’s cheek). Small plates and desserts are also on the go. ASAP Pizza, to launch on 10 June, will operate from Flor in Borough Market and offer click and collect as well as local delivery by Deliveroo.


Wilsons, Bristol

This much-lauded neighbourhood restaurant is now offering weekly recipe kits, allowing locals to cook up high-end, restaurant-quality meals at home. The meal is different each week to reflect what’s being harvested from the restaurant’s farm and at its best from top suppliers. To help customers get Wilsons-worthy results in their own kitchens, chef Jan Ostle creates a recipe card for each box and hosts live cookery videos on Instagram (with wine pro and food TV producer Andy Clarke) each Friday. There’s even a wine match to accompany the kits if you fancy.


Petersham Nurseries, Richmond

With lockdown restrictions now relaxed, we’re able to spend more time outside – and Petersham Nurseries’ new picnic boxes might just be the way to make the most of it. The takeaway picnics (which have vegetarian and vegan options) use in-season ingredients and have an Italian-style edge. Expect the likes of rosemary focaccia, faro and pesto salad with tomato and salted ricotta, and sausage rolls with rhubarb chutney. Each box serves two and can be ordered up to the day before the collection date, then picked up from the Richmond site.


Hole Farm Food Hub, Devon

Ben’s Farm Shop has been running for more than three decades in the South West and now has several shops and a restaurant to its name. Like so many others in the trade, it’s been forced to change direction due to the current climate so has just revealed a brand new online store. As well as its own produce and ready-made meals (think chef-cooked stews, curries and pies), it’s also offering goods from Riverford Organic Dairy and Barnaby’s Brewhouse, as well as The Almond Thief’s bread, Sharpham's cheeses and more. Order for local delivery.


Kolamba, London W1 (Soho)

Sri Lankan restaurant Kolamba’s consultant chef Larry spent 61 days cooking for NHS workers during the peak of Covid-19. With the support of Kolamba’s staff and ingredients, he churned out 1,500 meals a day – slow-cooked lamb bourguignon, spicy chicken tagine and chickpea curry to name a few. Support the cause and treat yourself to a Sri Lankan feast with the restaurant’s takeaway option. Order a selection of sharing dishes including fragrant turmeric monkfish curry, chopped green beans in desiccated coconut and Nalini’s delicately spiced fish cutlets (think a Sri Lankan take on croquettes). Punchy condiment pots include spicy seeni sambal and sticky date and lime chutney, plus a portion of string hoppers to soak up the sauce. Order through Deliveroo.


Bombay Bustle, London W1 (Mayfair)

Inspired by the dabbawalas of Mumbai, who deliver homemade food by bike and train across the city, Mayfair Indian restaurant Bombay Bustle has launched an exciting new delivery menu. The vibrant dishes are delivered warm and ready to eat, packing in lots of different spices, textures and flavours. What’s more, a percentage of sales are being donated to the dabbawalas’ official association, The Nutan Mumbai Tiffinbox Suppliers Charity Trust, to help workers who have been affected by Covid-19.


Whatley Manor, Wiltshire

A food truck has sprung up at this luxury country hotel, serving affordable, sustainably made takeaway meals. Paradise Carriage is headed up by the hotel’s two-Michelin-starred chef, Niall Keating, who has been working at the food truck throughout the crisis in Stoke on Trent, cooking for key workers. The likes of marinated aubergine, homemade kimchi and daikon bake, and cheese steak with grilled onions and fries are on the new menu. Dishes start at £6 and NHS workers can pick up a complimentary main course.


Hampstead Kitchen, London NW6 (West Hampstead)

The Hampstead Kitchen – founded by chef Saima Khan – has been donating its produce to food banks and cooking to support the community. Now, it’s announced a brand-new service that aims to bridge the gap between a restaurant visit and a home delivery by cooking, setting up and styling luxurious feasts outside customers’ homes. The Bubble Banquets come in six varieties themed around occasions – think date night and Sunday Roast, for instance – and allow customers to pick and choose their dishes.


Only A Pavement Away, UK-wide

Chef Tom Aikens has joined forces with hospitality charity Only A Pavement Away to raise vital funds to support those without food or shelter, and help them return to the hospitality trade in the wake of the pandemic. The Tom Aikens Charity Cooking Challenge is a social media drive that invites people to record themselves cooking a meal in five minutes then donate £5 and share their videos, nominating five friends to do the same.


Manchester Food & Drink Festival

The current health crisis hasn’t stopped this food festival – rather than being defeated, it’s set up a new YouTube channel to put events online. There’s everything from wine masterclasses to cook-alongs and virtual tastings, hosted by the pros behind cafés, restaurants, bars and producers across the city. Get involved and have your own food and drink festival at home this year. Keep an eye on MFDF social media accounts for live streams, too.


London Shell Co, London W2 (Paddington)

London Shell Co has turned its Paddington Basin barge into a makeshift fishmonger. Its ’from seashore to front door’ initiative helps keep English fishermen in business with two eat-at-home boxes brimming with seasonal seafood. Contents depend on the catch that week, but the picnic box could include whole, super-delicate rainbow trout, peppery cured Dorset Char, plump juicy prawns and whipped roe to spread on treacly homemade soda bread. Or the BBQ option comes with the likes of grill-at-home tandoori monkfish steaks, king prawns and potato salads with seaweed butter. Plus, both boxes include a bottle of Grand Duchess English sparkling wine created with Hampshire’s Hattingley Valley vineyard. Order a box online to pick up or have delivered within the M25 (NHS staff get 20% off).


Eat Well MCR, Manchester

Mary-Ellen McTague, owner of Chorlton restaurant The Creameries, was quick to act when news of Covid-19 hit, rallying local hospitality pros and producers to launch a new project. Making use of those now-empty kitchens and redundant produce, the Eat Well MCR collective began making meals for NHS staff and, thanks to generous donations, are still feeding frontline workers as well as vulnerable families, women seeking refuge and people without shelter. You can contribute here.


Rice Error, London (Southwark, Fitzrovia, Hackney)

This home delivery and takeaway service comes from the team behind BAO. It’s ensuring locals can get their Taiwanese-food fix by way of rice boxes, DIY bao meals and Taiwanese fried chicken, either with home delivery or by its click and collect service. What’s more, the team is also making time to cook up much-needed free meals for NHS staff, too.


Moist, Bristol

This hummus producer is lighting up the faces of Bristol residents every Friday when it makes its weekly deliveries – but it’s not just its imaginative range of flavours that are eliciting those smiles. Moist has been delivering dips with a side of disco – complete with retro tunes and kerbside dancing – to spread joy and remind customers to keep dancing throughout these challenging times.


La Mia Mamma, London SW3 (Chelsea)

When this restaurant was forced to close, the Italian ‘mammas’ who run its kitchen came up with Mamma's Survival Kits, which include everyday essentials like bread and pasta, as well as more luxurious treats like wine, croquettes and cured meats. Now, they’ve gone one further and launched DIY kits of pasta dough, sauces and fillings, and ready-to-eat meals. Standard delivery covers much of London – although special UK-wide deliveries can also be arranged, meaning we can all get our carb fix.


The Drinks Drop, Manchester and London

This newly launched drinks initiative, set up by Highball Brands, has partnered with bars in Manchester (think the likes of Crazy Pedro’s and Cottonopolis) and London (including Black Rock and Kwānt) to give locals the chance to sip on top concoctions from some of the country’s best bars at home. The pre-mixed cocktails can be ordered online for contact-free delivery, with all the profits divided between the bars involved, to help sustain them through the current crisis.


Holborn Dining Room, London WC1 (Holborn)

Executive chef Calum Franklin and sous chef Nokx Majozi of this Rosewood London hotel restaurant have launched a new range of savoury snacks. The imaginative sausage rolls, scotch eggs and pies are made from ingredients donated by local businesses (meat from Drings Butchers, dairy from The Cheeseboard and Smith and Brock, pastry from Paul Rhodes and beer from Brockley Brewery), and all the proceeds are supporting staff at the Lewisham and Greenwich hospital. Find the goods at Drings Butchers in Greenwich.


Dusty Knuckle, Cardiff

Already offering a takeaway and collection service, this much-loved Cardiff restaurant is also now listing DIY pizza kits for home delivery so you can whip up your own version of its classics in your kitchen. The team have also launched a special new Rainbow Pizza – topped with colourful burnt lemon, marinated courgette, pomegranate and red onion – with 50% of its profits being used to help feed local NHS workers.


Chef Jake Finn, London (city-wide)

Covid-19 has scuppered the plans of many would-be restaurateurs who were planning to open new hangouts this summer. Chef Jake Finn (formerly of La Petite Maison and The Ritz) is one of them, but his gritty determination and positivity has seen him reimagine the business as a delivery service, dishing out restaurant-quality food to addresses inside the M25. We’re talking dishes like ratatouille with crumbled feta and pine nuts, and confit duck leg with Hispi cabbage, as well as dreamy desserts such as sticky toffee pudding.


Le Bab, London W1

This Soho kitchen has become home to a new not-for-profit project: the London Restaurant Co-operative. Employing chefs and waiters who’ve lost their incomes, its aim is to create delicious meals for a small-as-possible price tag (think £6.50) to be ordered online and delivered locally, with 100% of profits going to the staff. You can also donate meals to NHS workers for just £4. Oh, and Le Bab have also started recipe videos on Instagram, for those that are in need of a ’bab fix.


On the Pass, UK wide

On the Pass is a website set up by Philip Warren Butchers and Matt Chatfield (The Cornwall Project) in the South West, which allows home cooks to get their mitts on the top-drawer meat that’s been reared and aged for some of the country’s finest restaurants. This means you can now cook the likes of 55-day aged Brat sirloin, whole beef fillet reared for Paul Ainsworth at No 6, The Ledbury’s English guinea fowl and Kiln’s hogget at home. Winner.


The Quarantine Cookbook, London

With contributions by the likes of pro chef Skye Gyngell and food writer Laura Jackson, this new digital cookbook is available in return for a one-off donation to any food bank charity. The hope is that the recipe collection helps boost culinary inspiration at home, while also raising much-needed funds to help overstretched food banks meet the increased demand that Covid-19 is causing.


Parker’s Tavern, Cambridge

Tristan Welch, chef-director of this luxury hotel and restaurant, may have been forced to close his kitchen but has found other ways to spread the culinary love. He’s running regular events on Instagram Live, including chef interviews, ‘culinary clinics’, where followers can ask for advice on using up leftovers and cutting food waste, and cookalongs, with the list of ingredients posted the day before so fans can get hold of the ingredients in advance.


Gather and Graze, UK wide

Usually spending their days crafting grazing tables for weddings and brand events, the team at Gather and Graze are now running virtual workshops for businesses through Zoom, to keep staff socialising and teach them how to build delicious and Insta-worthy cheeseboards. They are also hosting free workshops on Instagram Live every Saturday night at 7pm, with a different food theme each week – think Greek platters and Italian mezze.


Fee’s Food, Cornwall

Cornish catering business Fee’s Food has joined forces with local chef Tim Spedding to create Cornwall Community Kitchen. Aiming to help local food banks and charities meet inflated demand, the team are working hard each weekend to prepare meals for the Wadebridge and Bude food banks as well as DISC Newquay, a charity supporting homeless and disadvantaged people. It’s run by volunteers, and you can get involved by donating.


Pizarro Restaurant, London SE1 (Bermondsey)

Jose Pizarro’s Bermondsey restaurant has been transformed into a grocery shop and take away. Spanish cheese, cured meats, wines and other deli items are available, all sure to inject some sunshine into your day. What’s more, chef-prepared, ready-to-eat tapas dishes such as boquerones in parsley and garlic, suckling lamb leg to share, and crisp, golden jamón croquetas are also on the go. Get a tapas night in the diary and order online for collection or local delivery.


Food and Drink Festival, UK wide

With the summer’s food festivals cancelled, Katia Sokolskaya, founder of specialist tea business Nauteas, decided to create a new festival marketplace online. Food & Drink Festival Online gives artisan producers a virtual festival stall, allowing them to reach customers by different means. Everything from small-batch bottled cocktails and hot sauces to cakes and fresh pastas are available for delivery, meaning this year’s food festival haul might just be your best yet.


Raise Bakery, Sussex

This family-run bakery has been busy baking and delivering cakes to local NHS workers, as well as setting up an online shop. You can now order sweet treats as well as baking kits and ingredients from the website, which is super handy for customers, considering flour has become as rare as gold dust. The bakery is also donating food and ingredients to local food banks with each order placed, just in case you needed an extra excuse for cake.


Square Food Foundation, Bristol

This cookery school and community kitchen in Bristol is helping to support local families living in poverty, who usually rely on free school lunches. The classroom kitchen is now being used to cook up ready meals and prepare DIY meal kits for delivery to children and their families who may otherwise go without. Local indie food businesses have pledged support to the Square Meals initiative but donations are still needed – find out more here.


Notting Hill Fish Shop, London W11 (Notting Hill)

This long-established fish shop has teamed up with other local indies – think H.G. Walter butchers, Hedone bakery and veg shop Natoora – to form an online supermarket. The new service is helping to keep fishermen in action as well as taking on hospitality pros who have lost their jobs, all while supplying sustainable food to the community. Live in west London? You can get your order delivered, otherwise, try the click and collect service.


Summerton Virtual Whisky Festival, St Albans

This year’s Summerton Whisky Festival may have been cancelled, but it’s popping up in a brand new guise. The clever folk behind it have reimagined the event as a virtual one, meaning whisky fans can still hear great speakers talk live and try new drams from the comfort of their own home. Happening on 30th May, it has a full programme of events, with the necessary goodies being delivered to ticketholders prior to festival day.


Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, London (Hackney Wick and Bow)

Famous for her Ghanaian food, Zoe Adjonyoh is now working to produce wellbeing kits and hot meals for delivery to vulnerable people in the local community, all the while providing employment for people who have lost their incomes due to the Covid-19 crisis. Zoe is teaming up with other local services to reach those who are in most need and is calling for support on her Crowdfunder page.


Alchemilla, Nottingham

After witnessing a nurse unable to buy the essentials at the supermarket between shifts, chef-patron Alex Bond started using his Michelin-starred restaurant’s kitchen to cook ready meals for frontline NHS staff. Originally donating 400 meals a week, Alex has now partnered with Open Kitchens to feed even more key workers and vulnerable people across Nottingham, free of charge. Want to help? Donate here.


Boozy Events, Aberdeen

Struggling to find indoor activities for a lockdown birthday or celebration? You’re in luck: this mobile bar business has come up with new in-home cocktail tutorials. Let the team know what alcohol you have to work with and they’ll put together a bespoke menu and interactive online class with one of their experts. They’ll even deliver all the necessary equipment and garnishes to your door in advance. (There are tutorials on their Instagram page, too.)


Hensol Castle Distillery, South Wales

This craft gin distillery is doing its bit to support key workers by creating a different kind of alcohol. Originally due to launch their new gin experiences and distillery tours at 400-year-old Hensol Castle this spring, the team are instead working seven days a week to knock out more than a million litres of much-needed hand sanitizer a month.


The Roasting Shed, London E9 (Hackney Wick)

Get freshly roasted coffee delivered to your door with this roastery’s Kind Coffee Subscriptions. Not only does the subscription guarantee your caffeine fix, but it’ll also see a free bag of beans sent to an NHS worker or vulnerable person (who you can nominate if you have someone in mind) with each new sign up. Choose espresso, decaf or rotating seasonal blends for your caffeinated delivery.


The Supper Collective, York

A group of indie food businesses have joined forces to create The Supper Collective. It’s aim? To feed local residents and healthcare workers. Top restaurants and producers such as Pig and Pastry, Haxby Bakehouse and Skosh are involved in cooking the heat-at-home meals, which are delivered to approximately 100 grateful recipients each day. The Supper Collective needs funds to keep running – you can donate here.


Bristol Food Union, Bristol

This newly formed collective of food and drink businesses has two purposes: first, to support independents (its website tells customers where they can buy groceries and meals and allows them to donate to the industry) and second, to feed frontline workers. Chefs such as The Pony and Trap’s Josh Eggleton and Elliott Lidstone of Box-E are donating their time to cook up top-notch meals for this cause (as well as for charity Caring in Bristol, which has launched an emergency appeal to feed the city’s homeless and vulnerable). Donate to Bristol Food Union here, and to Caring in Bristol here.


Comfort cookbook, Devon and Cornwall

A new digital cookbook is soon to be released, packed with recipes from top chefs and producers from across the South West. Comfort has been conceived to raise funds for Hospitality Action, a charity supporting hospitality workers which is in need of emergency funds. Nathan Outlaw (Restaurant Nathan Outlaw), Paul Ainsworth (The Mariners) and Elly Wentworth (The Angel) are all in on the action, providing family-friendly recipes to cook at home. Get your copy by donating here.


Wahaca, across the country

The Mexican restaurant group founded by MasterChef winner Thomasina Miers is hoping to inject some sunshine and festival feels into our cooking during lockdown with Wahaca At Home. This new online resource promises recipes (think picadillo chilli, tortilla soup and chicken quesadillas), as well as playlist inspiration and activity ideas to recreate the tastes and vibes of Wahaca in your own kitchen. Follow on Instagram for Thomasina’s cook-along videos, too.


Lina Stores, London W1 and N1 (Soho and King's Cross)

The team at Lina Stores has raised more than £24,000 (and counting!) to produce and deliver care packages to London-based hospitality workers whose income has been affected by Covid-19. If you donate £20 or more via the GoFundMe page you’ll get a 20% discount when you eat in the restaurants during their re-opening period. Meantime, the delis are still open for grocery shopping and Deliveroo orders.


Bodega Rita’s, London N1 (King's Cross)

From the people behind Bodega Rita’s, Rita’s 4 U allows local Londoners to order premium groceries online to be dropped off on their doorstep. Natural wines like Calcarius’ Hellen Bianco and Domaine Les Vigneaux’s Syrah are on the virtual shelves alongside kombucha, ready-mixed cocktails, pickles and hot sauce. Great news if you’re due a fix from this ace deli and wine shop.


Yard Sale Pizza, London (various)

Not only is this group of pizza joints offering a 50% discount for NHS staff on takeaways (25% on deliveries), but it’s also cooking up pizzas for local hospitals (Whipps Cross, Homerton, and Royal London) for free, so staff can get food on-site. Donate to the cause via the website – and don’t forget you can still order pizzas for no-contact home delivery, too.


Slow Life, Good Life, Dorset and Devon

A group of food pros have put their heads together to create this new online community and resource. It aims to help us save money, eat well and maintain connections amid the current crisis. The £5 per month membership fees – for which you get three video tutorials a week from the likes of Gill Meller and Steven Lamb, access to an exclusive Facebook community with experts on hand, and weekly live broadcasts – pay for food for the vulnerable, too.


Berber & Q, London E8 (Haggerston)

Founders Josh Katz and Mattia Bianchi are doing their bit by keeping our NHS workers fuelled up with their famous fire-cooked food – for free. So, while the restaurant and shawarma bar are closed, the team are still pulling shifts in the kitchen and sending deliveries out to local hospitals. The new project is called Berber & You and it needs donations – get involved here.


Lyaness, London SE1 (Southbank)

This cocktail bar – named one of the World’s 50 Best – sees lockdown as a prime opportunity to learn a new skill and get mixing (not to mention drinking) libations at home. Founder Ryan Chetiyawardana (AKA Mr Lyan) has started filming recipe videos on Instagram, encouraging us to bring the household together over delicious concoctions.


The Cauldron, Bristol

In a bid to support indie businesses as well as its staff and customers, this restaurant – normally known for its solid-fuelled fire cookery – has transformed into a grocery and meal delivery service, having teamed up with a local cab firm. Its new online ordering system promises everything from produce boxes to meal kits and even toiletries (their famous Sunday roasts are available, too.)


Six Poor Folk, Yorkshire

The team behind this popular bar were quick to act when it seemed food businesses and self-isolators might be at risk. They created Knaresborough Delivers, a new service that allows people to order food from their local independents (eateries as well as shops), and have it delivered to their door.


Cater Edinburgh, Edinburgh

Usually to be found serving up his fine-dining food at events as a private chef, Barry Bryson is setting up camp in the kitchen for the foreseeable to cook homemade ready meals – think pies, tagines, and curries – for contact-free delivery. The dishes come in large portions, ready to be divided up and chilled or frozen at home.

Bar 44, Wales and Bristol

On closing, these popular tapas outfits first used up all their remaining stock to make freezer meals to tide staff over, and now they’re offering Spanish cooking ideas on Instagram, with recipes and videos so we can recreate their Mediterranean-inspired meals at home.


Rogan & Co, Cumbria

Not only are Simon Rogan and his team of chefs making ready-to-heat meals for a mere £5 – which are available alongside produce like home-baked bread and beer, all for delivery – but they’re using all the profit they make (after the cost of ingredients) to fund food for vulnerable locals, too.


Brickell’s Ice Cream, Somerset

This small South West outfit makes ice cream using fresh milk from its very own herd of cows – and is now delivering it locally for free if your order totals more than £15.


Pippy Eats, Manchester

Former winner of the BBC’s Britain’s Best Home Cook programme, Pippa Middlehurst cooks at events, hosts workshops and has her first cookbook on the way. She’s bringing extra sunshine into people’s lives now too, with new meal kits (dan dan noodles for dinner?) containing everything needed to make a killer meal (delivery across Manchester) and an updated online shop which now features the likes of her homemade Sichuan chilli oil.


Carters of Moseley, Birmingham

Brad Carter was crowned Sustainable Star at the olive Chef Awards 2018, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down in his foodie pursuits, having just launched new smile-inducing food hampers to keep us well fed at home. Containing cooked meals as well as raw ingredients, they even have optional wine pairings, too. Delivery is free within 10 miles of the restaurant.



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