Development & Alumni Relations Office 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT – CALL FOR QUEEN’S LOCKDOWN RECIPES  Meat, fish and vegetables on table, Food for Thought

06 July 2020

Queen’s Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO) is calling on graduates, staff and students of the University to share their favourite ‘go to’ recipes of the current lockdown, with the best ideas ultimately finding their way into an online collection entitled ‘Food for Thought’.

With restaurants around the world closed until recently, and many still remaining shut due to COVID-19 restrictions, people have been resorting to tried and tested home cooked dishes or have adapted their own versions of professional signature dishes, to feed themselves and their families.

Cooking is widely seen as creative and therapeutic and almost always instantly rewarding. As a result, individuals of all ages have been honing their culinary skills, learning about new dishes, educating their palates and serving up something delicious, all without leaving the comfort and safety of their own homes.   

Queen’s cooks are also being invited to share photos of their signature dishes via email ( or on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #QUBFoodForThought.

Ian Moore, the DARO Head of Alumni and Supporter Engagement, said:

“It’s really just a bit of fun, but we know that there are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of  excellent Queen’s chefs – graduates, staff, honorary graduates and students – who have been cooking up a storm over the last 3-4 months.”  

During lockdown, which has brought immense challenges to so many people isolated at home – in the UK and Ireland and around the world – countless numbers have found that they have more time to perfect and try alternative dishes and to explore their latent culinary skills.

Many restaurants and eateries have also been posting free recipes online during the pandemic, including high street names such as Pret a Manger, Greggs and Pizza Express.    

It is expected that the ‘Food for Thought’ collection will include recipes for appetisers, soups and salads, main course dishes and desserts, through to tray bakes, cakes, buns and bread.

Andy Nisbet Friel, Alumni Officer for Engagement added: 

“We are in regular contact with Queen’s graduates in over 120 countries around the world, so we would certainly hope to receive an extensive range of traditional recipes reflecting the broad diversity of the University’s diaspora.   

“Whether it’s restaurant-quality or comfort food, or a new twist on an old lunchtime homemade favourite, we want to hear from you! And if you have any tips or hacks for improving any aspect of the cooking process we will be sure to pass them on,” added Andy.

While a number of the University’s researchers have been playing an active part in tackling the problems arising from COVID-19, most of Queen’s 3,000+ staff has been working from home over the last 3 months. Since the pandemic struck in March the Development and Alumni Relations Office team has remained in contact with the 200,000+ members of the worldwide graduate family and ongoing engagement with donors, volunteers and supporters remains a priority.   

“It is clear that for millions of people – including our graduates, staff and supporters – the kitchen has been a sanctuary during the lockdown,” continued Ian Moore. “A lot of home cooks have expanded their repertoire and we’d be very keen to hear from them and to share the secrets of their successes.

“It would be wonderful to receive submissions for the ‘Food for Thought’ recipe collection from every country where there are Queen's graduates and to create a truly cosmopolitan online repository reflecting the broad diversity of the University family which could then be accessed by graduates, staff and students. What a very special legacy that would be," he added.  

Details of the ‘Food for Thought’ website will be included in next month’s eGraduate which is due to be published on Tuesday 04 August.

Graduates are invited to email recipes (detailing ingredients and method) and photos – along with personal contact details (name, year of graduation and subject, as applicable) – to with ‘Food for Thought’ in the subject line.

For general enquiries about this story, or to submit a graduate news item, please contact Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office, Queen’s University Belfast.

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