With food waste and climate change rising exponentially in the last ten years, the team at Everybody Eats is most definitely on a mission. By taking raw items and ingredients that would otherwise be wasted, this pay-as-you-feel system works to feed the community (and not just those living below the poverty line). So come one, come all… to a welcoming and heartwarming space. And get ready to fill your belly to the brim, with food, glorious food.
Everybody Eats started life as a hugely successful Monday night pop up at K' Road's Gemmayze St which rescues unwanted ingredients… and later, forms a three-course meal for everyone to enjoy. After its immense success in the Auckland CBD, Everybody Eats has finally placed more permanent roots in Onehunga. With founder Nick Loosely crowd-funding over $120,000 to set the Onehunga joint up, the establishments work to combat both food waste and poverty on the daily.
The beautifully inviting white store front space is located right in the heart of Onehunga Village, and offers a three-course dinner menu prepared by head chefs daily, five days a week—from Sunday to Thursday. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Everybody Eats also reduces food waste when eating here by utilising an array of ingredients from around the community that would usually head to landfill. Quality produce, converted into even more perfect meals, to feed the bellies and souls of the community.
We went along to the opening night where Head Chef Jamie Johnston created a variety of canapés and tasty bowls to choose from, which were paired alongside gin cocktails and ‘Pals’ ready to drink vodka sodas. Chefs Javier Carmona and Will Michell (from the Smoko Room), were also involved in the cooking process, and came up with exciting and innovative menu items that you would most certainly not see anywhere else. A favourite from the evening was the gloriously crispy on the outside, soft on the inside polenta fries, which just confirms that you can truly never go wrong with fries.
Additionally, we stepped outside the box slightly, and dabbled in beautifully crumbed lamb brains—yes thats right. Brains. And you know what? They were amazing. Yet another example of using all parts of the animal, and letting no food go to waste. Johnston pointed out that this is a priority for the chefs at Everybody Eats, and in order to combat food waste fully, we must find ways to use all parts of the produce—whether that be plants or animal based. How cool is that?
The ethos of the place emphasises that everyone should be able to eat, no matter where you come from, or how much money you have. You pay as you feel, or simply, give what you can. And there is no judgment given. Three course meals, a warm and comforting space to meet new people, and a comfortable location to enjoy good food with good people. The space is cosy, with couches and sharing tables designed for human interaction…. Yes, lets put our phones away and get chatting. A beautiful menu, food that comes in seasonally and fresh—there isn’t much more to ask for.
Relying on volunteers to successfully operate, the Onehunga establishment is also, always on the lookout for workers willing to give their time. So if you are looking to give a little—or simply just get behind a business that is working to improve our world, then look no further. Everybody Eats… arguably the way of the future.
Image credit: Annie Strachan, Alex McVinnie