Chef Francesco Mazzei taking on Ready Steady Cook challenge to fight food poverty

Top chefs Francesco Mazzei and Merlin Labron-Johnson will battle it out in a new "Ready Steady Cook" challenge later this month to raise awareness of food poverty and waste in the capital.

The event, taking place on January 28, will be the second instalment of the cook-off following Mazzei’s head-to-head with Tom’s Kitchen’s Tom Aikens last year.

Mazzei will invite Michelin-starred Merlin Labron-Johnson to his Battersea restaurant Fiume where they will race against the clock to prepare a variety of sharing plates.

The chefs will create their dishes using surplus food from supermarkets, wholesalers and retailers that would otherwise go to waste. Guests will then sample their creations and vote for their favourite using the BBC show’s iconic red tomato and green pepper score cards.

They will be supported by teams from their respective restaurants – The Conduit in Mayfair for Labron-Johnson and Fiume itself for Mazzei. Both sides will work in the restaurant’s open kitchen in full view of the diners, so guests can watch as things heat up.

Kitchen wizard: Merlin Labron-Johnson

Mazzei said: “I’m so excited for the second round of our Ready, Steady, Cook-Off. Last year Tom and I had such a fun evening, as well as raising money for a very deserving charity. Things got very competitive between us and I’m sure this year will be much the same!”

All proceeds from the night will go directly to The Felix Project, a charity which collects food from suppliers and delivers it to charities across London so they can provide healthy meals for those in need.

Tickets cost £35 and include a three-course meal and a glass of fizz. They are available to purchase here.