Chicken Town, London: A Fast Food Revolution

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about about the revolution – and not just the one Russell Brand has been banging on about. No, I’m talking about a revolution in our food.

Jamie Oliver’s be going on about it for a good long while, ever since he launched his Food Revolution Day a couple of years ago.This annual campaign aims to use the power of his global voice to shout about important food issues, driving individuals and businesses to create impactful change and push governments to improve their food policies in support of better public health.

More recently, the language of revolution has been creeping in to the street-food scene across the UK; but here it is used to describe the sense of freedom and democracy that operating a pop-up street food business can bring. It’s the “grassroots revolution” identified by journalist and author Richard Johnson, who’ll be bringing his Street Food Awards to Cardiff later in the year.

In London however – where all the coolest things happen first – the “street-food revolution” is already old news. Instead, there’s a new kind of revolution afoot; a fast-food one. A great example of what this means can be seen in the launch of a new project, called Chicken Town.

Chicken town is still in the planning stages, but when it opens, it will be London’s first fast-food restaurant to offer a sustainable, healthy and affordable alternative to the ubiquitous London chicken shop, of which there are now over eight thousand.

Planned for opening in Tottenham this September, Chicken Shop will break the mould that has been carved out by those thousands of others, by serving high quality, free range chicken meals at the same price as the inferior alternatives. Other menu items will include roast corn, greens, coleslaw, coconut rice and sweet potato fries. Using higher quality oils, minimising frying times, lowering sodium levels, and having a farm-to-table ethos will help to provide a much tastier and healthier product, whilst fewer harmful fats, less sugar and more vegetables will be used in the restaurant.

In an effort to engage with the teens and young adults in the area, all of the profits raised in the evenings from sit-down meals will be used to fund daytime meals for local youngsters. Furthermore, the project will deliver a range of outreach community initiatives aimed at encouraging local people to think more about what they eat, and to make positive changes to their food choices. Click here to watch the video!

chick town

Click to watch the video!

The project is the culmination two years of research on the causes of obesity on young people in London. Tottenham has some of the highest childhood obesity rates in the UK, with over 40% of 11-year-olds classified as obese. This is why the project will focus particularly on young people on their way home from school or college, who currently frequent the fast food joints available en route. By providing better versions of the most popular form of fast food in the area, Chicken Town aims to improve kids diets by introducing attractive, tasty yet healthier alternatives.

The final icing on the cake, is that the project will also create new jobs for local young people, paying staff the London living wage. The founders have already signed up to the Haringey 100 – a council-led initiative to create 100 new apprenticeships in 100 days for local young people. What’s more, Chicken Town’s young chefs and front-of-house staff will be mentored by some of London’s leading restaurateurs, providing opportunities to get on to a sustained career path in London’s rapidly growing restaurant trade.

Now that’s what I call a food revolution!

Create have already raised £265,500 of core capital funding towards the project, including a £15,500 grant from the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund. A Kickstarter campaign to get the final funding of £50,000 has only 7 days left to reach it’s goal – to dontate, click here: www.kickstarter.com/projects/createlondon/chicken-town-tottenham

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