A new twist on London’s ubiquitous chicken shop (there are now over 8,000 of these grungy fast food joints) opened in the badlands of Tottenham on 9 November. Chicken Town by Create is a new, part crowd-funded, food and community project that claims it will ‘tackle child obesity at its source’. It’s a problem that is particularly prevalent in Tottenham, where 40% of 11-year-olds are classified as obese.
Chicken Town will offer an alternative to north London’s abundant fast food outlets, serving ‘better quality meals’ at the same price as neighbourhood chicken shops. It also operates as a restaurant in the evening, with partners like The Clove Club, Quo Vadis, Lardo, The River Café and Polpo providing guest menus and working on a mentor programme. Exec chef Giorgio Ravelli, who has serious foodie credentials, having worked at Upstairs at the Ten Bells and The Ledbury, has worked with nutritionists and (ahem) ‘food scientists’ to create a healthy and affordable alternative to fried chicken.
Seriously though, this is an extremely worthy idea. And one that will no doubt bring in foodsters from all over the capital, not to mention providing a great resource for locals.
Chicken Town is run as a not-for-profit company and will create new jobs for local young people. Over the first three years of operation the restaurant is expected to create over 40 new jobs for the area. All profits raised in the evenings will fund daytime meals for local young people and the project will deliver a range of outreach community initiatives.
Create raised the cash for Chicken Town through crowd-funding site Kickstarter, as well as other capital funding towards the project, including a £15,500 grant from good old Bo Jo’s Mayor of London High Street Fund. It is also supported by Haringey Council, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Time Out.