The Good Food & Wine Show (GF&WS) focuses on food waste this year, emphasising the importance of using up your leftovers, both creatively and charitably.

The GF&WS has selected food waste as its theme for 2017, highlighting a variety of statistics around the issue. There is, for example, the disturbing reality that, in South Africa alone, 9 million tonnes of food are wasted per year, even though almost half of the population goes to bed every night without eating. This fact, and others like it, will be on display at the entrance to the GF&WS at the Ticketpro Dome, the venue for Johannesburg’s iteration of the show.

Many of the culinary stars partaking in the event have also drawn attention to food waste, by demonstrating their own particular means of combatting the issue. At the GF&WS media launch on Wednesday 28 June, held at The Maslow Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, blogger and restauranteur Sherwyn Weaich, aka The Gourmet Bushie, and Sarah Graham of Sarah Graham’s Food Safari, made dishes using leftovers from the hotel’s breakfast buffet.

In what was termed by social media influencer The Joburg Foodie as a ‘French Toast cook-off’, Sarah made French Toast with cream, caramelized banana, maple-flavoured syrup, and a bacon, onion and orange jam. Sherwyn cooked up a dish called ‘The Quickie’, which features on the menu at his restaurant, DL Boutique and Café, located in the mall at The Pearls of Umhlanga in KwaZulu-Natal. ‘The Quickie’ is made up of thick slices of croissant dipped in a vanilla bean-infused egg wash, toasted and tossed in cinnamon and sugar, and topped with honey rocket-infused butter, candied bacon and chili.

The cook-off really demonstrated the versatility of food and that it is possible to make something totally yummy from leftovers, and will hopefully inspire many of you to create something inventive out of your spare ingredients or the remnants of last night’s supper. So you need no longer feel inundated with Tupperwares full of unwanted but still edible nosh - there’s another way of using it up!

Here at the GF&WS we are committed to reducing food waste, in as many different ways as possible. For both Cape Town and Joburg, we have partnered with FoodForward SA. This organisation gathers edible surplus food from manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, and redistributes it to various non-profit organisations, who in turn feed it to the hungry on a daily basis. As they did in Cape Town, FoodForward SA will be collecting all the food left over from the Joburg event. Added to that, they are also organising a Mandela Day Food Drive, in partnership with Pick n Pay, the goal of which is to provide 1,000,000 meals for those in need.

From 14 to 16 July, consumers are encouraged to buy basic foodstuffs from selected Pick n Pay stores in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth. At these stores, volunteers will be handing out branded bags in which those goods can be dropped. Then, on Mandela Day (the 18th) companies can send their staff members to spend their 67 minutes at the Packing Event locations in the same cities. They’ll be sorting and packing the donated groceries for distribution to FoodForwardSA’s Beneficiary Organisations.

We hope you’ll all be inspired by the above efforts to help tackle food waste. All it takes is a caring, socially-aware approach!

If you’d like to find out more about how you can reduce food waste, take a look at these all-star tips from our celebrity chefs… Read more