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Fair Food x Oceania Recipe Competition

- Jun 28, 2023
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Fair Food’s Conscious Kitchen is benefitting from kaumātua cooking knowledge through an innovative recipe partnership with Oceania – Retirement & Aged Care Living. 

During a 9-week recipe competition, residents submitted over 170 recipes using their generational knowledge in the kitchen, primarily focusing on minimising food waste. Driving the project amongst Oceania’s residents was Resident Experience Manager Julia Biggs, 

“This was a fantastic opportunity to tap into our resident’s generational knowledge of preparing and cooking quality food. Many of our residents would have grown up with the ‘Waste Not, Want Not’ mindset, so making sure no food goes to waste was second nature to them. We were overwhelmed at the response we got, and it was a real joy to see family favourite recipes submitted, some of which were created generations ago. Although Fair Food are an Auckland based charity, we opened this competition up to all of our residents across New Zealand. We’re incredibly proud that so many of the recipes provided by our wonderful residents will contribute in preserving food and filling the tummies of those in need for years to come,” shares Julia. 

Volunteers at Fair Food trailed lots of different recipes to see what would work the best for our kitchen with the ingredients we had. The top three recipes from both retirement & and aged care living residents were:


Dutch apple cake                                           Tasty vegan fruit loaf

Carrot soup.                                                   Any veggie quiche

Tomato relish                                                  Tomato relish


These recipes uphold the Conscious Kitchen’s purpose to upcycle rescued food that was destined for landfill. The flexibility of ingredients, consistency of taste and easy level of difficulty made them perfect for our community. 

Oceania reached out to Fair Food, after volunteering at the kai tables, because they could see an overlap with their pillar of “people, planet, prosperity,” and wanted to find more ways to engage residents in the zero-waste mission of Fair Food. 

“Cooking and sharing traditional recipes often made by their parents or grandparents was a really fun and healing experience for our volunteers. It allowed us to connect with a generation and community that grew up with zero waste practices,” says Fair Food General Manager Michelle Blau.

From cakes and soups to quiches and relishes, all of the cooking was distributed to our recipient groups within our community, helping feed people not landfill. 

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