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Great British Menu chef James Cochran and Too Good To Go shock diners by serving fake fine-dining meal

April 27, 2022

Acclaimed chef and Great British Menu alum James Cochran has joined forces with Too Good To Go - the world’s largest surplus food app and one of Time100’s most influential companies for 2022 - on an ambitious ruse to raise awareness of food waste.

Hosted at Cochran’s award-winning fine-dining restaurant in Islington, 12:51, some of London’s most discerning food experts were invited to enjoy a bonafide top-tier fine-dining meal that—unbeknownst to them—was made from rescued food waste.

The stunt video is being released today on YouTube to mark Stop Food Waste Day (27 April) - a national day of awareness which aims to educate and ignite action against food waste for the sake of our planet.

Everything the guests ate during the evening was about to end up in the bin; it was either surplus food that was rescued and redistributed via the Too Good To Go app, or food items that were past its best before but still perfectly edible. The surprise was then revealed to the unassuming diners at the very end of the night - highlighting how much potential deliciousness and quality produce is lost to the UK’s food waste problem every single day.

Re-distributed food items from some of the UK’s most popular food brands and Too Good To Go partners were transformed into the extravagant meal, which included dishes such as “Confit egg yolk, potato foam, curried potato matchsticks, haddock rarebit on toast” and “Filo pastry tartlet, raw tuna, citrus hollandaise mousse, pickled chilli, apple gel, crispy shallots”.

The entire five course fine-dining tasting menu cost just £2.69 to produce per person - the dessert itself costing just 16p - with the produce having been rescued from Too Good To Go partners at a third of its original retail value.

Showcasing the breadth of variety on the Too Good To Go app and the types of food waste that occur, the menu featured inventive transformations from James such as: apple gels using damaged apples from Morrisons; citrus mousses using leftover lemons from Gopuff; smoked salmon creme made from past its Best Before date creme fraiche from Yeo Valley; a chocolate mousse featuring excess Easter Eggs from Montezuma’s; and a white chocolate crumb featuring surplus Millie’s Cookies.

There were also zero-waste drinks via redistributed surplus stock from brands including Dalston’s Drinks, Coast Soda Water and 5 Points Brewing Co.

James Cochran, chef and co-founder of 12:51, says, 

“It’s been great to be a part of this project with Too Good To Go. No one likes throwing food away but sadly it does happen on a daily basis. I hope this event helps to inspire people at home to get creative in the kitchen and see how fun fighting food waste can be!”

Jamie Crummie, co-founder of Too Good To Go adds,

 “Over 26,000 tonnes of food is wasted in the UK every day. Not only does that simply not make sense at a time when we’re all looking to save money, but it’s harming our planet too. Working with James on this project to showcase the true potential of food waste has been fantastic. We want to show that there is all this delicious, exciting food out there that is truly worth saving. This Stop Food Waste Day I encourage you to take inspiration from our video and try your own anti-food waste meals at home.”

To view the video in full: Food waste or fine dining? We put food influencers to the test - YouTube

For more information about Too Good To Go visit www.toogoodtogo.co.uk or @toogoodtogo.uk on Instagram.


For press enquiries - including interview opportunities and downloadable video files (including B roll) - contact press@toogoodtogo.co.uk / 07796471084.

Notes To Editors

Video produced in partnership with DeadBeat Films

Full list of Too Good To Go partners who supplied ingredients and drinks for the event:



Millie’s Cookies

Bread Ahead Bakery


Nourished Communities


Wicker Fish

Farmisons & Co.

Smokin’ Brothers

Yeo Valley

Coast Soda Water

5 Points Brewing Co

Dalston’s Drinks


Too Good To Go has a simple mission: to make sure all food gets eaten, not wasted.

In 2016, a group of entrepreneurs witnessed restaurant staff throwing away fresh food. The food’s only problem? It hadn’t sold in time, and no one was around to take it off the restaurant’s hands. The group pioneered a seamless solution: an app that lists businesses’ unsold food so local diners can find, buy and enjoy it.

Now, thousands of Magic Bags are rescued from businesses such as supermarkets, restaurants, and bakeries every day. The success of the app powers Too Good To Go’s wider efforts to drive a food waste movement, working with schools, industries and governments to build a planet-friendly food system.

Too Good To Go by numbers:

17 countries

128 million meals saved globally

11 million meals saved in the UK

55 million app downloads globally

146,000 partner stores globally

2020 became a registered B-Corp

Find out more at www.toogoodtogo.co.uk, or visit us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


Award-winning Chef James Cochran reflects his Caribbean and Scottish mixed heritage in his bold and exciting tasting menu. Following on from the start of his career at the fabled ‘Wheelers Oyster Bar’ in Whitstable; James ventured to London where he trained under Chef Brett Graham at ‘The Ledbury’, before moving onto Michelin-starred gastropub The Harwood Arms.’ In 2018, James won the BBC hit show ‘Great British Menu,’ which followed appearances onTheBreakfast Show and BBC Kitchen.Then in November, to add to his growing list of accomplishments Eater awarded him with the prestigious title of Chef the Year.