Christmas in a Box

Category: News

Christmas in a Box is an appeal set up by Nat Tallents at The Box ‘Kitchen & Bar’ and The Box Foundation. A crowdfunding page has been set up to ask for donations from both businesses and individuals. The aim is to help supply struggling Plymouth families with fresh food to serve for Christmas dinner.

About the Appeal

The ‘Christmas in a Box’ appeal is aiming to raise £25,000 to deliver 2,500 boxes full of tasty ingredients to make nutritious Christmas dinners for 10,000 people who are struggling with food poverty in Plymouth this year.

The goal is to create 2,500 boxes using fresh and store cupboard ingredients from local suppliers. The boxes will be sent out to the local community by their distribution partner organisations. 

Our Interview with Nat Tallents

We spoke to Nat, to find out a little more into what ‘Christmas in a Box’ is all about. Finding out a little about Nat herself, and then more about the appeal and how it came about.

Nat Tallents – Executive Chef at The Box Kitchen & Bar

Nat is originally from Manchester but moved to Cornwall in 2014. “I still live in Newquay but work in Plymouth”. Starting her career as a waitress at 14 and working front of house up to the age of 21, Nat has plenty of experience within the hospitality industry. “I was then a Restaurant Manager but quit to become a Commis Chef as I thought Chefs had more fun! Two years later I was in my first Head Chef job in Yorkshire”. Since then, Nat has done Master Chef in 2012, National Chef of the Year in 2018 and 2020 and has had four Executive Chef jobs in the south west. This is where she now finds herself at The Box Bar & Kitchen.

What is it like working somewhere like The Box?

I was pulled to this job because of the creativity. I love museums and art galleries so this just seemed like a great environment to work in. Plus the community project side of things is something I’ve always wanted to get involved in.

What is your favourite display at The Box?

All the jars of wonderful sea creatures behind the mammoth in the natural history gallery. I like to go in there on my break and just look and explore. There’s still so much to see!

If you had to pick just one thing from The Box menu, what would it be?

Coffee!!! I am the biggest coffee fan/drinker. After that I would choose the flatbreads – so easy but so flavourful and my chefs are doing a wonderful job with them.

So looking at the ‘Christmas in a Box’ idea, how was it created?

I was reflecting on what a hard year this has been while I was driving to work one day. While listening to the radio, I heard that around 10,000 people in Plymouth won’t get a Christmas dinner this year. That number just stuck in my head and it got me thinking that perhaps there was something we could do.

The Boxes will be distributed to Plymouth families in need with the support of distribution partners across the city including Plymouth Community Homes. The boxes will include; Chicken, vegetables, gravy, stuffing, cake, clotted cream and a few surprises to make them up.

Nat said “I want to give families a real treat for Christmas. Suppliers have already pledged to help out with ingredients which is just amazing. I will cram as much in them as I can get my hands on let’s say! Plus some vegetarian bits too.

With all the help from volunteers it will take roughly 4/5 days to pack up all of the boxes. This will hopefully include then getting them out and where they need to be.

Has Nat ever done anything like this before?

Never! The staff at The Box are helping me bring it to life, finding delivery partners and getting people involved. I feel truly blessed to be working alongside them.

How can you help?

Food poverty has been in the news far too much during an already difficult 2020. This is a chance to help make a difference here in Plymouth and we are all for supporting it. The Box Foundation has joined forces with Nat and Fosters to help make this Christmas wish come true. Also, supporting the distribution are partners including Plymouth Community Homes and Plymouth City Council. You can help support this cause by giving what you can this year.