LETS-EAT-GLASGOW logoA group of leading Glasgow chefs have formed a new co-operative – Real Food, Real Folk – which aims to promote the city as a culinary destination while also tackling issues relating to food poverty in the west of Scotland.

Here, CDS specialist advisor Ralph Leishman, who supported Real Food, Real Folk with the development of its consortium model, explains how through collaborative working, the newly formed company is benefitting the businesses involved and the wider community.

Initiated in Glasgow in 2014 by Colin Clydesdale and Carol Wright of the Ubiquitous Chip restaurant, Real Food, Real Folk is a not-for-profit consortium which counts chefs from renowned city eateries including Cail Bruich, The Crabshakk, The Gannet, Ox and Finch and Stravaigin among its members.

As a movement, it is underpinned by a founding ethos that chefs and producers who are truly passionate about food should share their expertise with more than just their customers.

And by working together to host major food events in the city the group aims to establish Glasgow’s place on the Scottish food map while building connections between local people and the fantastic produce available on their doorsteps.

As 2015 is Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, this year provides Real Food, Real Folk with an ideal platform to launch its message. In September (5-6), the co-operative will host ‘Let’s Eat Glasgow!’ a pop-up market and restaurant festival in Finnieston developed around the theme of social inclusion.

Supported by £20,000 funding from Scottish Enterprise, with funding from other sources also currently being sought, the weekend will include a West of Scotland producers’ market, food demonstrations and meet-the-livestock events. During the day, a range of exciting dishes prepared by the co-operative’s well-known chefs will be on offer at just £5 per plate.

Real Food, Real Folk also plans to donate ten stalls at the event to established community groups involved in addressing food poverty in Glasgow, including Locavore, Plan Bee, The Freedom Bakery and Milk Cafe.

Proceeds from ‘Let’s Eat Glasgow!’ will fund the co-operative’s ongoing work in social inclusion and education. It is already working with children through after-school clubs and with mothers in deprived areas of the city.

The ambitious group also has exciting plans for 2016. The consortium’s next event – the BIG Table – will serve dishes from some of Glasgow’s most exciting restaurants and producers to 1000 people.

Guests will have the chance to purchase a ‘1 for 2’ ticket, which buys an additional place at The BIG Table for someone in the City suffering from food poverty.

To find out more about ‘Let’s Eat Glasgow!’ visit: www.letseatglasgow.co.uk