On Monday 11 March representatives from Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney attended an event hosted by the UK’s French ambassador to celebrate the launch of the annual Goût de France festival.

French ambassador to the UK, Jean-Pierre Jouyet, hosted several French chefs at the London embassy to mark the launch of the fifth year of the Goût de France festival, which will see 5,000 chefs in 150 countries across the world offer dinner à la française – in the French style – to promote French gastronomy while creating links between chefs around the globe.

Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney Chief Executive, Cecile Roberts, and formerly homeless man Eamon Moore who is now being support by the charity, attended the event after being chosen by the French Embassy in London as one of the charities it is support during the festival.

The Ditchingham-based charity supports up to 23 people who have experienced homelessness by offering them a home for as long as needed, meaningful work in its social enterprise and a chance to rebuild their lives.

Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney is currently working to increase its food offer to residents and the public by upgrading the charity’s community kitchen into a commercial kitchen, refurbishing a donated vintage ice-cream van to offer homemade ice-creams to the public, and eventually opening a public restaurant, bakery and farm shop.

As part of the support from the French Embassy, chefs and restaurants participating in Goût de France are encouraged to donate funds or kitchen equipment to Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney to help with its project.

Eamon, a trained chef who became homeless following mental health issues, is now a resident and chef at the Emmaus community:

“As a chef myself, to be given the opportunity to not only attend the launch of Goût de France alongside some of the most skilled chefs across the UK, but to receive support from them, is unbelievable. To celebrate Gout de France, I’ll be cooking soup au pistou and Cassoulet using local pork and duck from John Groom Butchers in Bungay and carrots grown in the Waveney valley.”

Cecile Roberts, Executive Director at Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney, said:

“We couldn’t be more thankful to receive support from the likes of embassy head chef Gillles Quillot, as well as other chefs up and down the country, during the festival. This year’s Goût de France will highlight respect for the planet and healthy eating, showcasing local farmers, local produce and socially and environmentally responsible production. Eamon’s dish will highlight what kind of produce our local community has to offer.”

Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney is currently fundraising for its ‘Fire and Ice’ food project. If you want to support the charity or find out more about the project, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thebellyofemmaus.