Chef Damian Wawrzyniak opens Peterborough restaurant doors to homeless people

Wawrzyniak, who taught national treasure Mary Berry to make his favourite Polish Easter treat, is opening his new restaurant to provide classy meals for homeless people

Damian Wawrzyniak, who taught Mary Berry the art of Polish baking, is opening the doors of his new restaurant to feed homeless people.

Wawrzyniak, whose new restaurant House of Feasts, in Peterborough, opens on June 9, has pledged to open one day a week for homeless people in the surrounding areas.

The ‘food architect’ and chef consultant, who also owns and runs Fine Art of Dining restaurant, appeared on Mary Berry’s Easter Feast earlier this year on BBC Two, teaching The Great British Bake-Off’s national treasure how to make seasonal Polish speciality babka.

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But he says he was inspired to give homeless people a culinary treat because: “I was fortunate to be able to chase the dreams and work in lovely places all over the world. However many people have no luck.

“So I’ve decided to start running weekly free dinners for homeless from Peterborough and surrounding areas.”

The restaurant’s staff will hand out vouchers to homeless people for their meal, and pick them up then drive them back to their shelter. And Wawrzyniak says he will approach fellow Peterborough restaurateurs to do the same.

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The move follows the launch last year of Home restaurant in Edinburgh, which opens its doors from 3pm until 5pm each Monday to provide a top-quality meal for homeless people. The restaurant is the brainchild of Josh Littlejohn, founder of Social Bite chain of cafes made famous by its A-list patrons including George Clooney and Leonardo Di Caprio, and like Social Bite Home also employs and trains homeless people in catering skills.

And the gastronomic good news follows the announcement last week that celebrity chefs including Michel Roux Jr and MasterChef’s Monica Galetti will cook up over 2,000 free meals for homeless and socially marginalised people during London Food Festival in June, collaborating with food waste charity The Felix Project.

The festival feast was conceived by three-Michelin starred chef Massimo Bottura, who set up refectories which fed homeless people in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic Games using food leftover from feeding the athletes.