Now in its third year, The Big Lunch event is a one-day get together where communities throughout the UK share lunch in the street, parks, pubs, or other venues and public spaces.
Chefs, restaurateurs and publicans have joined the efforts, which aim to bring locals together to promote communities, either by volunteering as ‘local champions’ or by providing their venues or services.
Chefs support communities
Chef Malcolm John, who runs Le Vacherin, Brasserie Vacherin and Fish & Grill restaurants and has also signed up as a local champion for Croydon, said: ‘I think The Big Lunch is an absolutely wonderful idea encouraging the community to re-connect by sitting down to eat lunch with each other.
“Communities have grown apart over the years and this is a great opportunity for friends and neighbours, in Croydon, to come together and to get to know each other better.’
Earlier this month, Malcom John joined restaurateur Antony Worrall Thompson, TV personality and chef Levi Roots and London mayor Boris Johnson in a promotional campaign for this year’s Big Lunch.
The Big Jubilee Lunch
Around 1m people were involved in the event in both 2009 and 2010, but a “record” number – well above 1m – are expected for this year’s event, due to take place on Sunday 5 June.
Next year, the event has been adopted as part of official celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, with The Big Jubilee Lunch expected to be the biggest event to date.
“Pubs and restaurants can be venues, but the main aim is for people to get together,” said a spokesperson for The Big Lunch.
“It’s a nice way for the hospitality industry to show they’re doing their bit for local communities, and they can get involved by sponsoring lunches or providing support or products.”