Committed. Passionate. Humble
It might sound too good to be true: a restaurant dining experience where absolutely anybody can enjoy a quality, three-course meal and pay what they feel inclined to – or eat free.
In 2017 Nicholas (Nick) Loosley turned this fanciful concept into reality and created Everybody Eats, which today is a firm feature in Auckland’s culinary landscape.
Staffed by volunteers and sourcing healthy produce that would otherwise go to waste, Everybody Eats restores dignity to many of those one-in-six New Zealanders who cannot regularly afford food, let alone a chef-created meal.
Everybody Eats emerged from two of Nick’s life strands: his fascination with the conundrum of global food wastage, which he researched for his master’s degree in green economics; and a family background in restaurant management.
“We invite anyone and everyone to join us, and they all get treated and served equally,” says Nick. “You’ll see people who live on our streets sitting barefoot with lawyers in suits, chatting over a meal devised by one of our chefs.”
Over the years Everybody Eats has collaborated with many of New Zealand’s top chefs, including Josh Emmet, Des Harris, Samir Allen, Dariush Lolaiy and Josh Barlow.
Nick sees being voted a Westfield Local Hero as a vote not for himself, but for the Everybody Eats concept and the more than one thousand volunteers who have donated their time and passion to it. “The heroism is really in everybody’s determination to overcome our social barriers and the food wastage that’s part of that. It’s great that we’re getting recognition for this.”
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Nick describes the grant as “Amazing… For a young and lean charity, $10,000 goes a very long way.”
Everybody Eats will use its grant to buy equipment for its second permanent restaurant, which is set to open in socially diverse Onehunga.
“The concept has no limits,” says Nick, “it could help to bond diverse communities across New Zealand and beyond.”
__For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here. __
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