With Prue Leith - renowned cook, writer and Schools Food Trust honcho - at the head of the table, last night’s Obesity: The socio-economic impact of our bulging waistlines debate inevitably focused on school interventions: the uphill struggle against junk food and ceaseless efforts to put cooking and food education back into the curriculum. As the evening passed, the debate turned toward consideration of us as diners and our physical, emotional and cultural relationship to food. Obesity was suddenly just one offshoot of the British approach to eating. As a nation, we don't generally like to pay for food, we eat out of our hands while on the go and rarely sit down at the family table for a communal meal at home.
Discussing the ramifications of a fattening society with no fat folk at the table in Hoxton Apprentice’s classy upscale dining space and consuming a delicious (albeit light) three course dinner felt mildly reprehensible. However, consciences were somewhat salved by the fact that the Hoxton Apprentice is a charity restaurant and all profit goes straight back into training and development.
At £50 a head you'd have to be wildly into the subject matter or a faithful supporter of Training for Life to sign up for the Ideas Exchange. However, if the price is right for you, the Ideas Exchange debates offer an excellent opportunity to support an earnest cause, meet interesting people and perhaps even learn something. Worthwhile, if a little worthy.
Written by Lindsey Clarke and Chris Osburn