Wilson Vale chef charity cookbook

A member of the ‘soup-er star’ chef team at national contract caterer Wilson Vale has contributed a warming winter recipe to a new charity soup cookbook, echoing its Full Works initiative’s ethos of ‘turning warm words into meaningful actions that educate, inspire and make a difference to daily lives’.

Anthony Cooper, Catering Manager at Scania UK’s Milton Keynes Support Centre, has created a delicious butternut squash and chilli soup for YMCA Milton Keynes SoupFest MK, a recipe book which is part of a brand-new fundraising campaign for the youth charity.

Featuring 24 recipes, the beautiful book is a collection of mouthwatering soups gathered from restaurants, businesses and community groups from across Milton Keynes. Other contributors include Paris House, Namji, Warbler of the Wharf, and a group of YMCA residents, who worked alongside the chef at MK College to create a Spiced Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup recipe – the very first YMCA soup.

Anthony said: “It is a privilege to be asked to supply a recipe and I can’t wait to see the recipe in the cookbook itself.


“It’s a simple soup with an easy recipe to follow. But it’s also adaptable, whether you want to change the butternut squash for carrot, or want to add different flavours and accompaniments, you can. It’s a versatile soup that most people will be able to make.”

Since February this year, Anthony and his team have produced over 3,000 meals to feed some of the most vulnerable young people in Milton Keynes. By using the freshest ingredients, the YMCA and Scania are ensuring these young residents receive a hot, nutritious evening meal.

David Anderson – Managing Director, South at Wilson Vale, added: “It’s great to see our chefs get involved with projects like the YMCA MK cookbook; such initiatives are at the very heart of Nurture Works, part of Wilson Vale’s environmental and social agenda The Full Works, which focuses on our social responsibilities, from supporting  sustainable suppliers and start-ups, employee well-being, diversity, equality and engagement. This is the perfect example of how Wilson Vale works in partnership with like-minded charities and organisations who share its social and ethical values.”

The recipe book will be available to buy in HomeGround Café located at the YMCA campus and on the YMCA MK website as well at a number of pop-up events planned in the run up to Christmas.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship from Cranswick Foods, 100% of the proceeds go directly to YMCA, supporting young people in Milton Keynes. At just £5 a book it will make the perfect stocking filler this Christmas.

You can support YMCA MK this winter by buying a book or hosting a soup supper. All you need to do is invite some friends around, make one of the soups from the book and raise money for a local charity. Don’t forget to tag them on social media – #SoupFestMK.