Best thing since stale bread - Nancy's pop-up bread restaurant goes down a storm

22nd September 2015

Foodie fans raved over a slap-up feast at an exclusive pop-up diner, but were left eating their words when the chef revealed the main ingredient -- stale bread.

Reigning Great British Bake Off champion Nancy Birtwhistle joined forces with charity, Love Food Hate Waste, to dream up a menu with one requirement - each course had to contain bread which had gone stale.

The national charity cooked up the idea after their research revealed that around 24 million slices of bread are thrown away in UK households every day – and that almost one in five Brits have binned a forgotten loaf without even opening it.

Diners turned up for the three-course meal at a pop-up restaurant in London's Borough Market to find out the ingredient in all three courses was household staple, bread.

It was only after Nancy had supplied three simple, tasty courses of; a niçoise salad for starter with black olive croutons, moussaka with a breadcrumb topping for main course and a summer terrine for pudding, that they found out the bread was in fact stale.

Of the event, Nancy said:  "There’s an assumption with people, my family included, that stale bread means ‘gone off’ bread, fit for the bin.

‘’But in actual fact stale bread is an ingredient, and we need it for every course in the menu I cooked today.

"It wasn't until I came out of the kitchen at the end of the meal and revealed that stale bread had been used in each dish that they all gasped! But though the bread was stale, they raved about how much they enjoyed it.’’

Nancy, who impressed the judges of last year’s Bake Off with her no nonsense approach to baking, has spoken frequently on the importance of being thrifty with food. She has joined forces with Love Food Hate Waste to take part in the Use Your Loaf campaign to help people to make more of their bread and reduce the 24 million slices which go to waste every day in UK households.

Donned ‘queen of consistency’ by Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, her journey to being 2014’s GBBO champion even saw her blitz dough in the microwave in the race to come out top.

Diner Holly Harwood, 25, a production assistant from London, said ‘’I really enjoyed the meal, the terrine was my favourite. I didn’t even realise it was bread as it tasted more like cake.

‘’I know that stale bread is often used in cooking and it shouldn’t bother people, because when prepared properly it tastes really good.

‘Maybe those who aren’t into cooking would be wary, but if they tried it they’d probably love it.

‘’I freeze bread a lot, but after today I’ll definitely think about other things I can use it for.’’

Clare Morfin, 48, a business development director from Great Dunmow, Essex, said: ‘’The nicoise salad was excellent; you could really taste the olives in the croutons.

‘’I think we’re all a bit guilty of throwing too much bread away, and with the economic climate we have in Britain right now it’s great to learn of new ways to make it go further.’’

It’s safe to say that Britain loves bread, in fact, almost half of the adults polled (49 per cent) said they munch on bread every day.

But research commissioned by Love Food Hate Waste to mark their ‘Use Your Loaf’ campaign found that bread often goes neglected with one in four respondents often throwing bread away before reaching the end of the loaf, costing us money.

Over one in ten in the survey of 2,000 said they’ll throw bread away when it passes its freshest state. One in five claimed that letting bread go stale was a common reason it goes to waste.

Emma Marsh of Love Food Hate Waste said, ‘’We are a nation of bread lovers; from the classic sandwich to good old fashioned beans on toast.

‘’It is shocking to think of all that bread going to waste each year just from our homes.

‘’That’s why we are thrilled to be working in partnership with Nancy to help the nation ensure that our beloved bread can be used in so many ways.

There are more tips, recipes and waste solutions at showcasing how we can all use our loaf.

To help the country get the most out of their loaf, Love Food Hate Waste and Nancy have shared their five top tips for bread success:

  • Most bakery products have a “best before date”, which refers to quality. Your bakery products can still be eaten after this date, but may no longer be at their best.
  • Sliced loaves and other bread products are all great for freezing and can be toasted from frozen as and when needed.
  • Make slightly stale bread and leftover crusts into breadcrumbs by whizzing up in a food processor – these can be stored in the freezer to use later. 
  • Storing bread in the fridge can make it go stale faster. The best place to store a loaf is in a cool, dry cupboard or your bread bin.
  • Freshen up a day old loaf by running it briefly under cold water and popping it in a hot oven for 10 minutes.

The campaign is also on the hunt for Britain’s best leftover bread recipes – enter the competition to win and find more tips, tricks and recipes by visiting

Notes to Editors:

For more information about Love Food Hate Waste visit or follow on Twitter: @LFHW_UK

Statistics are taken from a Love Food Hate Waste study that explores the nation’s attitude to bread and bread waste, carried out by 72point. The research involved a poll of 2000 UK adults from across the UK between 14th and 16th September 2015.


1. Love Food Hate Waste is managed by WRAP and underpinned by WRAP’s ground-breaking evidence-based research. 

2. The most recent food waste figures (2012) available were published by WRAP in November 2013 and can be found here: 

3. The average person in the UK wastes around £200 a year by buying and then throwing away good food and drink. This rises to £470 for the average household and £700 for a family with children.

4. Throwing away good food and drink is responsible for the equivalent of 17Mt of CO2. 

5. The campaign aims to help us all to realise the importance of developing skills in order to help everyone to save money and reduce food waste. 


6. LFHW is a national campaign with a specific focus in 10 UK cities for 2015/16.  The 10 Cities we are working with are Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool City Region, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield

About WRAP

1. WRAP is a registered Charity No. 1159512 WRAP is also backed by government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. 

2. WRAP works with businesses, individuals and communities to help them reap the benefits of reducing waste, developing sustainable products and using resources in an efficient way.

3. More information on all of WRAP's programmes can be found on / @WRAP_UK

WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership with governments, businesses, trade bodies, local authorities, communities and individuals looking for practical advice to improve resource efficiency that delivers both economic and environmental benefits. 

Our mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable resource-efficient economy through: 

- re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products,

- re-thinking how we use and consume products, and

- re-defining what is possible through recycling and reuse.

First established in 2000, WRAP is a registered charity.  WRAP works with UK Governments and other funders to help deliver their policies on waste prevention and resource efficiency.  

WRAP is a registered Charity No. 1159512 and registered as a Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No. 4125764. Registered office at WRAP, Second Floor, Blenheim Court, 19 George Street, Banbury, OX16 5BH.


Sally Hollyhead

Project Manager
01295 819900