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MasterChef winner ‘humbled’ after day in Brixton Soup Kitchen

A MasterChef The Professionals winner spent the day with the founder of Brixton Soup Kitchen yesterday, to mark the start of their Christmas partnership.

Steven Edwards, 36, who won the sixth series of MasterChef The Professionals in 2013, met Solomon Smith, founder of Brixton Soup Kitchen, in Coldharbour Lane, Brixton.

Mr Edwards said: “As soon as we arrived, we went to Brixton market to pick up some meat from the butcher and some vegetables to make a warming beef stew.”

Yesterday marked the beginning of a Christmas partnership between Brixton Soup Kitchen and the hotel Mr Edwards currently works in – Bingham Riverhouse, in Richmond.

Steven Edwards makes beef stew at Brixton Soup Kitchen (Picture: SilverHeartPictures)

The partnership will see the hotel lend its chefs, including Mr Edwards, to the soup kitchen on December 13, to make Christmas lunch for the homeless and families in need. 

Mr Smith said: “I’ve found that the people that tend to help others most readily, are often the ones that are experiencing or have experienced challenge themselves.

“Brixton Soup Kitchen is a place where people can receive a hot meal and a place to change their lives.”

The soup kitchen was set up in 2013, by Mr Smith, who started giving food to the homeless on his way home from school when he was 12 years old.

His mother – coming from a large Caribbean family – always cooked a little too much, he said, so he took the leftovers and gave them to the rough sleepers every day.

Steven Edwards is a classically trained chef and was the youngest winner of MasterChef The Professionals when he won in 2013 (Picture: Justin De Souza)

While on a university placement, Mr Smith did work experience at a homeless shelter in Lewisham. What was supposed to be a three month placement, turned out to be a seven year journey that inspired him to set up his own soup kitchen in Brixton.

Today the soup kitchen is run on donations and volunteer support, patrons of the charity include Dame Tessa Jowell MP and actress Joanna Lumley.

Mr Edwards said: “It was a great introduction to the market. It’s fantastic to see all the work that Solomon has done since he opened Brixton Soup Kitchen 10 years ago and it was rewarding and humbling to play a small part in helping out today.

“It’s clear that there is much more need for these charities than ever before as the cost of living crisis escalates poverty everywhere and Solomon’s passion for helping his community is inspiring.”

Mr Edwards added: “It’s so important that we look after each other and never more important than in the lead up to Christmas. This collaboration with Brixton Soup Connection does just that. 

“Growing up it was the reward of providing for somebody by creating a beautiful meal that made me want to be a chef. We’re looking forward to cooking and raising as much money as possible for Brixton Soup Kitchen.”

Pictured top: Steven Edwards and Solomon Smith cooking together in Brixton Soup Kitchen (Picture: SilverHeartPictures)

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