Four cafes and snack bars in Basildon will be giving away free food this weekend, attracting more people into sampling their healthier, tasty options. The nutritious alternatives have been designed with the help of British Masterchef Mark Baumann, as part of the pilot ‘Our Basildon Our Food’ scheme, to serve up healthier options at half price until the end of February.
All participating eateries took part in a cookery master class to develop a new dish for each of their menus in November, before introducing the recipes for a three-month period. The Our Basildon Our Food scheme is funded by NHS South West Essex and served up by the ‘Our Basildon’ team at the Foundation for Essex Arts.
Organiser Lisa Hawker explained: “This project is proving a great success, , but we still want to get as many people to try these really tasty ‘Our Basildon’ options before the end of February when the introductory offers end. “When we launched the scheme the eateries gave away 1,500 tasters between them so we hope to attract similar interest this weekend.”
Thousands of vouchers have been delivered to homes in Basildon encouraging people to try the healthier alternatives at half price; all subsidised by the local eateries taking part. This innovative new programme with the emphasis on taste is to encourage people to eat more healthily in response to concerns about high levels of obesity and other health problems. Lisa explains “According to local statistics, one in four adults are obese, which can lead to problems such as heart attacks, diabetes, strokes and mental health issues
“This is one of several schemes happening locally and we are aiming to work in partnership with various organisations, including the NHS. We want to raise awareness that healthy eating can be about colour, texture and taste - that it can really ‘tickle tastebuds’. ”We want to encourage people to get into cooking so all five recipes in our pilot are downloadable on the website or can be sent to anyone requesting them.”
On Friday 12 February between 4pm and 6pm, free samples of ‘Mac’s Ocean Pie’ and ‘Fin-tastic Fish Cakes’ will be given away by the team at Stacy’s Pie Shop, and Chip and Fin respectively at Stacy’s Corner, Long Riding.
Saturday 13 February from 11am to 1pm, a second free tasting event will see samples of ‘Chicken d’Lite’ and ‘Fin-tastic Fish Cakes’ offered at Cafe Market Restaurant, Market Walk, and Chip and Fin by Basildon Bus Station – both in Basildon town centre. Half price vouchers for all participating eateries - subsidised by the eateries - will also be given away over the weekend to anyone trying the free tasters.
A competition is open to anyone purchasing the Our Basildon Tasty Options in each of the cafes where there is a chance to win a meal for two at Baumann’s Brasserie in Coggeshall. The other restaurants, cafes and snack bars taking part in the Our Food scheme are Pitsea Leisure Centre Coffee Shop, Poolside Cafe at Gloucester Park Swimming Pool, Café City in the Basildon Garden and Mower Centre, Tasty Bakes & More in East Walk, McDowell’s Pie and Mash in Southernhay.
For more information on the Our Basildon project and the Heritage Trail - along which five of the eateries are based - please see www.ourbasildon.org. To download recipes go to www.ourbasildon.org/ourfood or post a request to Our Basildon, Foundation for Essex Arts Ltd, PO Box 9807, Billericay CM12 9XJ.
Notes to journalists: For further information, please contact: Lisa Hawker: Our Basildon Our Food 07889 278756