great get together - a walnut and banana loaf

The Great Get Together is a weekend (16-18 June) that celebrates all that we have in common, with street parties and community events happening across the UK. It was set up by Brendan Cox, husband to Jo Cox MP who was tragically killed last summer. Jamie explains why he is proud to be supporting the weekend:

“Food is one of the few things in life that has the power to unite people. It’s almost like a universal language – travel anywhere in the world and we can find a way to communicate by sharing a taste of this or a bite of that. Some of my most magical moments have been experiences like this.

Here in Britain, I think it’s fair to say that as a nation, we’ve always embraced anything that looks and tastes good from other parts of the world. And for me, being British isn’t about what you can stick a flag in, it’s about a society that’s really open minded, up for trying new things and just giving it a go. It’s one of the things I love about this country – we combine our gorgeous seasonal produce with all the flavours we’ve adopted from around the world. That’s what makes British cooking so exciting – it’s a real melting pot of different influences, old traditions and new additions, and that’s evident in every high street in the country.

Our history is full of exploring, invasion and immigration – and the results are plain to see in our kitchens and on our plates. Take fish and chips for example: first introduced by London’s Jewish immigrants in the 1800s and now thought of as a classic British dish. Or Vindaloo – that British curry house favourite – which hails from Goa but actually has European roots thanks to the Portuguese, who introduced vinegar (the ‘vin’ in vindaloo) to southern India. I love learning about the journeys these dishes have been on to become the classics we know and love today.

Modern-day Britain is a joyful, colourful patchwork, and I’m really proud that’s what we’re about. That’s why The Great Get Together makes so much sense. Not only is it an opportunity to remember a lost life, it’s a chance to shout about Britain’s rich diversity by cooking something that means a lot to you and sharing it with your community. Only good things can come from that. So get onboard with this brilliant weekend, cook up a storm, and show your neighbours a bit of love at the same time.”

For more clever Great Get Together ideas, check out our 6 joyful sharing dishes, and 7 ideas for a truly global buffet.

About the author

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver is a world-renowned chef and food campaigner.

Jamie Oliver