FOOD that would normally be thrown away by shops and supermarkets is to be whipped up into a magical Christmas feast next week at the Camp & Furnace.

The Nightgarden Christmas special, on Friday December 23, will be presented by a team of kitchen professionals led by top chef Mary-Ellen McTague, pictured. Punters will simply pay what they think their dinner is worth with the end game being to raise funds for reducing food poverty and tackling food waste.

McTague has previously worked alongside Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck, has been head chef at Aumbry in Prestwich and appeared on BBC’s Great British Menu where she reached the regional finals.

For the Christmas Nightgarden she will be joined by the team from the Real Junk Food Project, a not-for-profit community interest company who source perfectly edible food that would otherwise be disposed of, and cook it up into restaurant-standard meals - with a focus on health and nutrition.

Menus will be announced on the day and will have a festive theme, as well as catering to a range of dietary requirements, with Nightgarden customers being encouraged to pay-as-you-feel, making a financial donation to the project of what they feel the meal is worth.

Since its launch in October, at Camp and Furnace, Nightgarden’s unique format has attracted hundreds of food lovers from across the North West to experience the trailblazing event, which has gained national press attention.

The venue’s cavernous Furnace room is transformed into a "glitch forest", where customers dine beneath rumbling thunder clouds, towering trees and plants as well as being surrounded by large scale projections. All that may sound like the food court at St John's Precinct, but trust us, it isn't.

The event also features live bands, aerial performers, plus wine expert and DJ Adam Speechly as well as Nightgarden’s resident "creatures" who interact with guests - combining to create a surreal playground for drinking and late night dancing.

A spokesperson for Camp & Furnace said: "The Christmas Special will be the highlight of the year. We’re delighted to be working with Mary-Ellen and her talented team and hope we’ll be able to assist in raising funds for such a worthy project."

*Christmas Nightgarden, Friday December 23, 6pm until late. Entry, free, no booking is required. Further information can be found here.