Mersey residents cook up delicious dishes from lovely leftovers

Budding chefs withstood the heat of a fiery kitchen to stake their claim as the leftover food masters of Merseyside this week.

Contestants in the ‘Make 28 Taste Great’ recipe competition had to put together their favourite leftover recipes under the watchful eyes of Widnes-born TV chef Brian Mellor and celebrated chef and Food Tourism Champion Paul Askew of Hope Street-based restaurant The London Carriage Works.

The recipe competition – organised by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority – is looking for smart ways to use leftovers and ingredients easily at hand to create healthy meals with a regional flavour. The ‘Make 28 Taste Great’ responds to the fact that 28% of waste in Merseyside and Halton is food waste.

The ‘cook off’ event for the twelve final recipes took place on Monday at Liverpool Community College’s restaurant, The Academy. Pressure in The Academy’s kitchen was high and temperatures hot with camera and video teams there to capture the action – all under the gaze of the celebrity chefs.

Two entries were shortlisted for the cook-off in two age groups (11-17 and 18 plus) and in three categories – a starter, main course and pudding or drink.

The judges will now whittle down the twelve recipes to the best six. These will be made into signature recipe cards featuring their creators. The new recipe cards will add a local twist to existing nationally available recipe cards used in the ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign by MRWA and will be available at events and festivals as well as downloadable from

Chef Paul Askew said: “What an amazing opportunity to help reduce food waste and inspire chefs young and old at the same time. The cook-off was a real inspiration.”

Chef Brian Mellor added: “It was fantastic to see how inventive residents can be with leftovers and store cupboard ingredients. It was great spending a day with enthusiastic non-professional, home cooks who’ve given us a tough decision to make.”

Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority Chairperson Councillor Graham Morgan said: “Statistics show that over a quarter of a Merseyside bin is food waste, a lot of which would still be edible. As well as a waste of food it’s also a waste of money as people buy things that they throw away totally uneaten. This is costing each household £50 a month! This competition is just one initiative we’re using to raise awareness of food waste.”

Winners will be announced at Liverpool Food and Drink Festival, September 7th and 8th, at Sefton Park in the Seafood Pagoda with Paul Askew. As well as gaining free entry to the Food and Drink Festival, winners will also receive a box of seasonal vegetables from


Picture captions:

Above (left to right) Brian Mellor; contestant Ann Griffiths with her ‘Whatever you make it’ sauce; Paul Askew; MRWA Waste Strategy Manager Stuart Donaldson

Below (left to right) Brian Mellor; contestant Denise Cullen with her ‘Fab Four Bruschetta Boats’; Paul Askew


A full copy of the competition’s terms and conditions may be seen on the web site or is available by ringing 08456 120188 or writing to the Waste Strategy Manager, Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority, 7th Floor, No1 Mann Island, Liverpool L3 1BP

The recipe campaign – called ‘Make 28 Taste Great’ – responds to the fact that 28% of waste in Merseyside and Halton is food waste. As much as £50 a month can be saved by using leftovers more effectively and by local shopping.

Marketing PRojects is delivering this project on behalf of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA). More information at

Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (formerly Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority) is responsible for the disposal of municipal waste on Merseyside. Established in 1986, following the abolition of Merseyside County Council, it is a statutory Authority that works with all the local authorities on Merseyside – Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. MRWA takes a lead in advocating recycling, waste minimisation and safe and effective disposal of waste for Merseyside’s residents.

The Cabbage Box is a family run business, delivering fresh local produce direct to doors within 24 hours of ordering on its web site The family has been farming in Aughton for over 100 years, supplying the wholesale and retail trade throughout the UK. The farm first concentrated on Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers and onions, but today grows a vast array of crops to meet customers ever changing needs. The Cabbage Box helps your 5 a day, reduces food-miles and offers better quality and value than supermarkets. Much of the produce will be harvested fresh for individual deliveries.

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