Mayor is ‘Gordon Ramsay of Antrim’ quip as cooker kits programme hailed a success

Antrim and Newtownabbey Mayor Councillor Jim Montgomery was hailed “the Gordon Ramsay of Antrim” at a meeting of the council’s Operations Committee on Tuesday evening.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 3:01 pm

The quip referencing the celebrity chef was made by committee chairman Ulster Unionist Cllr Robert Foster during a discussion on a slow cooker scheme which was rolled out to shielding residents during lockdown.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Council supported more than 50 households across the borough with the delivery of  slow cooker starter kits during lockdown.

The kits include a slow cooker, cookbook and ingredients for two meals.

Mayor Councillor Jim Montgomery at the launch of the slow cooker scheme.

The scheme was funded by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, the Public Health Agency and  supported by Henderson Retail.

An evaluation carried out in October showed 98.1 per cent of recipients still use the slow cooker and 69.2 per cent use it once a week.

Recipients said it has given them “greater independence, reduced food waste and that it was a better alternative to microwave meals”.

Speaking at a the Operations Committee meeting, Deputy Mayor Cllr Noreen McClelland said:”It is a wonderful initiative. Very well done. It has made a great difference to quite a few people, their diet and lifestyle.”

Antrim DUP Alderman John Smyth praised the mayor’s slow cooker skills adding it was a “great programme”.

The mayor said: “It is a great initiative and something that has been about for years. I would like to thank Alderman Smyth but I wouldn’t call myself an expert and won’t be anytime soon.”

Airport Sinn Fein Cllr Annemarie Logue commented: “It was a very worthwhile project.

“I ask the mayor when he will be launching his slow cookery book?”

Antrim DUP Cllr Paul Dunlop BEM  said: “We have a fantastic orchard at Parkhall which has lovely cooking apples. Maybe this is something we can roll out. Turn this into a good use, something naturally grown being used in cooking.”

He noted the site belongs to the Housing Executive.

Cllr Foster remarked: “It is something we could look at. It is something too good to waste.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

Click here to read: Over 50 vulnerable families across Antrim and Newtownabbey get nutritional support

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