Food is great. That we know.
But (and here’s where I get all Jamie Oliver 2005 so frigging brace yourselves) food that shared in a place that gives much needed skills to really improve lives is where the magic happens. I’ve been watching the Community Kitchen, a social enterprise model, morph into a space that has so much potential for good, where people can “experience the benefits of cooking and eating together, regardless of finance, confidence or ability.” In the daytime they run community cookery programmes for people with mental health issues, dementia, learning disabilities and anyone that can benefit from cooking, learning life skills for well-being and sharing food together.
Behind this is Brighton and Hove Food Partnership a non-profit organisation that have worked on community food projects in the area for over a decade from community gardens, food wastage campaigns and neighbourhood meal sharing clubs.
It’s also a beautiful space available for hire and they also run cookery courses and classes, the profit from which goes straight back into the work the partnership do with masterclasses from the city’s best chefs, on-trend skills such as fermented foods and make your own charcuterie, seasonal workshops and well-being focused classes.
My cooking weak spot is baking though so a cake decorating masterclass with Kane McDowell from one of my favourite local Bakeries, Sugardough, was the one for me.
We were led through how to make a Genoise sponge and strawberry syrup, before being shown how to create a perfect semi naked cake (where the cake peaks out from the frosting). And never will I cut a tiered cake unevenly again which was worth turning up for alone.
Then the fun bit with pretty piped Italian meringue frosting and tricky chocolate writing (no evidence I’d studied typography and been a graphic designer for over 15 years AT ALL).
Dodgy type aside, I was very pleased with the cake, the kids thought I was pretty heroic when I brought it home for demolishing. It definitely has given me some confidence and skills to push decorating a bit further. Aside from learning, it was a really fun way to spend an evening and really relaxing too.
The Community Kitchen is a brilliant place for so many people in Brighton. I liked how they started the event by sitting everyone around the huge communal table for some lovely breads, dips and nibbles to break the ice and get the evening started. There were so many different people there, couples, singles, friends and a mum and her Bake-Off obsessed young son (who was having the time of his life!).
Visit events for upcoming events and to find out more about The Community Kitchen see bhfood.org.uk.
Community Kitchen113 Queen’s Road