Flatsharing site SpareRoom, backed by The Campaign to End Loneliness, has appointed a National Loneliness Chef to encourage communal eating to help fight social isolation.
Chef Andrew Clarke has created original recipes that encourage cooking and eating together, in a bid to help combat the millennial loneliness epidemic. He tells Female First why we can beat loneliness with food.
Plan a meal together
Planning something as a group automatically makes you feel less alone. Preparing, cooking and eating together will only strengthen your bond. So look at some fun recipes (like the ones I created with SpareRoom) and get started!
Shop for ingredients together
You can be responsible for getting ingredients together. When you know what you want to cook, a walk to the shops or market will spark some conversations. Perhaps even tell your butcher or grocer what you’re doing and see if they have any tips for your feast.
Spend more time in the kitchen
Food shouldn’t just be seen as just something we put in our bodies to survive.
Once the fridge is full and you have all you need to get started then the real fun begins with prepping and cooking in a kitchen together. I love being in the kitchen with my team, working together cutting, talking, cooking and tasting dishes.
Talk about food
Ok, I’m a chef and I have to talk about food all day. But even when I’m not working, its surprising how often the subject of food comes up in everyday conversation. What’s your favourite dish? What’s your favourite ingredients? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten?
There’s an endless conversation to be had in food.
When you’re with a group of people, it is a perfect opportunity to try different foods that you may not otherwise try. Different cultures bring different eating habits and cuisines and, with an open mind, it’s a great way to find out more about people, through what they eat!
Eat more healthy, mood boosting foods
I’m a true believer in what we eat affects how we think. There are far too many processed foods, high in sugars and fats that we accept as “normal”. This is a huge problem and one positive step towards feeling better in body and mind, comes from changing our diet. Eat more vegetables and fruits (organic if possible) and if it's not homemade, ease up on it!
Repeat all the above
Set a regular date, even if it’s just once a week, to get together to shop, prep, cook and chat about food. You won’t regret it!