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A Sustainable Christmas Dinner: The Whole Turkey vs. The Crown

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Sustainability and reducing food waste are two issues that the food and restaurant industry have been tackling over recent years. These problems see a significant increase over the holidays with studies showing that UK residents are predicted to spend over £19 billion on food and drinks over the festive months. For many, Christmas dinner is synonymous with turkey. The Sybarite was invited by luxury turkey brand KellyBronze to attend a masterclass conducted by their Managing Director Paul Kelly. The event was held at the Jamie Oliver HQ by Holloway Road and Jamie himself was present to welcome the guests, talk about the great relationship he has with Paul and KellyBronze, and why we should care about the impact that food waste has on our environment.

Paul took to the stage and impressed guests with his passion and excitement for what he does. He walked everyone through the history of turkeys in the UK, including plenty of personal anecdotes and family stories throughout his talk. Attendees learned that KellyBronze birds are completely free range, matured to over twice the age of a standard industry turkey, and most importantly, are plucked by hand enabling them to be dry hung and therefore more tender.

Paul demonstrated his double Guinness World Record holder skills (one for the fastest time to pluck a turkey and the second for the fastest time to carve a turkey) as he expertly carved a beautifully bronze bird in front of the crowd. As he butchered the turkey, he opened up on a topic that is close to his heart–the whole turkey vs crown debate. Paul explained that over 70% of turkeys bought at supermarkets over the Christmas season are crowns. Whilst customers often do this as they believe they are getting a better deal, the research that Paul’s team have conducted show that the cost per kilogram of a whole turkey is 44% less than the cost of a turkey crown.

Aside from being more economical, Paul went on to list the various benefits of buying a whole turkey for your Christmas dinner; the ability to make a good stock using bone marrow and the numerous tasty dishes that can be made using leftovers. Paul wanted the audience to become aware that when buying a crown, you are in fact wasting a lot of precious meat that could be used for recipes that will feed family and friends way past the holidays.

As Paul broke the turkey down, the wonderful aroma filled the room. Soon, guests were lining up as Jamie, Paul, and Paul’s family served up delicious turkey and coleslaw sandwiches for everyone to enjoy along with some bubbles. Guests left the event with some great tips for cooking their Christmas dinner and a better understanding of how to be more sustainable over Christmas. It was truly the perfect way to kick off the holiday season!

@forever_munching

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