Dinner Exchange is an ethical food project started by Alice Planel, a French woman brought up in England. This supper club uses food donated by New Covent Garden Market vegetable stalls, mostly organic, and asks guests to give a donation in return for their dinner. This falls in with a tradition amongst food activists of ‘skipping’ food chucked away by supermarkets. When I was squatting in the London Fields Lido a few years ago, almost all the food was obtained from bins. It might sound disgusting, but the food was still intact, often packaged, sometimes we found unopened champagne and chocolates. The best source was Lidl: unlike the top supermarkets, they didn’t deliberately ruin the food in their bins with washing up liquid.
Friday night, the Dinner Exchange was held at Alice’s house near Willesden Junction.
Around 25 guests were seated along a long table, around half the table were journalists from East London. I sat next to a young architect, wearing a tailored coat and a neat traditionally wrapped turban. We exhausted my knowledge of Sikhs ‘What do you think of those weird white Sikhs in America?’ and of architecture. I photographed Nigel Coates and Zaha Hadid many years ago for a magazine. Nigel had the most seductive voice, you fell in love with him instantly but of course he’s gay. Zaha Hadid is the highest profile female architect in the world.
All proceeds went to Foodcycle