Can the food we serve make the world a better place? This panel brings together a range of voices from food activists who believe social justice and sustainability can be served from the kitchen. From the meals served in schools, hospitals and prisons, to the use of surplus food, to the role that food has in serving dignity and hospitality to the most marginalised and vulnerable, we are opening up the conversation about the relationship between food production and social responsibility.
Why not join us for dinner after the panel talk at our Level 9 restaurant for a combined ticket price of £50 pp.
This event is presented by Studio Olafur Eliasson Kitchen and The Terrace Bar as a part of Olafur Eliasson: In real life.
Joshna Maharaj is a chef, a two-time TEDx speaker and activist who wants to help everyone have a better relationship with their food. She believes strongly in the power of chefs and social gastronomy to bring values of hospitality, sustainability and social justice to the table. Recently, Joshna has been working with hospitals and universities in Toronto to build new models for institutional food procurement, production and service. She is currently writing a book entitled Take Back the Tray to reconnect food with health, wellness, education, and rehabilitation in public institutions around the globe. Joshna is a regular guest on CBC Radio, a passionate public speaker, and she co-hosts a food podcast called the Hot Plate. She was on the shortlist for the inaugural Basque Culinary World Prize in 2016 and received Restaurants Canada’s award of Culinary Excellence in 2018.
Cristina Reni is the Executive Director of Food for Soul, a cultural project founded by Chef Massimo Bottura with the mission of shining light on invisible potential. Born in Venezuela, Cristina studied Social Communications and Journalism. Her passion for food, culture and community-led Cristina to Italy, where she embarked on a Master’s in Food History and Culture in Bologna. She collaborated with Chef Bottura and his wife Lara Gilmore on a new vision for the community, founded on ideas of social inclusivity and food equity. The concept of the ‘Refettorio’ was born; an innovative community space that engages and restores the socially vulnerable through the simple act of a shared meal. For the last four years, Cristina has worked to build a network of community hubs in Rio, Paris, London, Milan and soon in the US.
Sheila Dillon has been a food journalist for more than three decades. She worked on BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme, first as a reporter, then producer and now presenter. She produced groundbreaking editions on mad cow disease, the rise of GM foods and the growth of the organic movement. In 2000 she helped set up the BBC Food & Farming Awards. She’s won numerous awards for her journalism, including the Glaxo science prize and honorary doctorates from Harper Adams University, U of Chester and City, University of London for her work, which, the City citation said, 'has changed the way in which we think about food.'
Al Crisci, MBE
Alberto (Al) trained as a chef at Merton College. He set up his own restaurant and wine bar in Croydon which he ran for eight years. In 1994, Al joined High Down prison as a chef and then Catering Manager. In 2009, he was awarded an MBE for Services to the Hospitality Industry. Shortly after, he opened the first Clink Restaurant with an ex-offender as Head Chef and Maitre D. Ten years on The Clink Charity operates four prisoner training restaurants, two prison gardens, an event catering service and a café.
Al has been awarded The Prince Philip Medal by HRH The Princess Royal and in 2018 was named Public Sector Top 20 Most Influential Public Sector Caterers for the third time.