BURY chef Mary-Ellen McTague is hoping to launch Manchester’s first ‘food waste’ restaurant.

The Manchester branch of the Real Junk Food Project – which is directed by Corin Bell and former Aumbry chef Mrs McTague – has launched a crowdfunding page to set up the city’s first alternative restaurant.

The food project intercepts food that would otherwise go to waste, sourced from wholesalers, supermarkets and restaurants.

The team hopes to open up at a Manchester venue, which is yet to be confirmed, in Ancoats, since their hub at The Wonder Inn, in Shudehill, fell through.

Great British Menu star Mrs McTague, who grew up in Greenmount, says that opening a restaurant will enable the team to make the most out of fresh ingredients they receive.

The award-winning chef said: “We hold pop-up dinners across Manchester, but we have no clue from day to day what food we’ll receive so we can’t plan ahead.

“We just have to see what arrives and it’s my job to decide what to cook. It’s like playing Ready, Steady Cook every day and it’s not always easy when we’re feeding about 150 mouths.

“If we had a permanent base it would mean we would be able to plan and actually freeze food and have somewhere to store it.

“At the minute there’s just no way to prepare so we really need a premises because it would mean we could save and use so much more perfectly edible food.”

To open the restaurant the crowdfunding page must meet its £20,000 target by Friday, January 13.

Ms Bell, director of Real Junk Food Manchester said: “We started in May 2014 doing pop-up events all over the city and since then we’ve catered for weddings, gala dinners and made nutritious home cooked meals for residents at hostels.

“All our ingredients are perfectly edible but might not be up to supermarket or wholesalers standards.

“That’s usually because food in a supermarket needs to have a sell-by date and once it’s past that, it’s thrown out.

“It doesn’t mean that it’s not edible because in most cases with fruit and veg it’s ripe so perfect to eat.

“Mary joined us as head chef in March last year and changed everything for us.

“As a very experienced and talented chef she has massively helped to get the most out of the food.

“Having an award-winning head chef means we have the opportunity to open a venue where we can make restaurant quality food and that’s the aim.”

“We need an extra £9,000 to turn this into a reality and I’m hopeful that we will.”

Anyone wishing to donate, can go to crowdfunder.co.uk/real-junk-food-manchester