Brighton community cooks teach others how to make healthy, affordable meals

Community cooks across Brighton have been teaching people to cook healthy, balanced and affordable meals as part of Tesco’s Community Cookery School.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 5:00 pm
Brighton community cook, Paul Loman
Brighton community cook, Paul Loman

The second phase of the Community Cookery School, which is held in partnership with Jamie Oliver and food redistribution charity FareShare was launched earlier this year to help train community cooks in delivering helpful and practical cooking skills to families in their communities.

Easy recipes such as veggie chilli, tinned salmon fishcakes with veggie slaw, and veggie soup with eggy muffins encouraged people to add more vegetables to their everyday meals.

Because of pandemic restrictions, the virtual lessons were streamed online, with the lessons developed and delivered by Jamie Oliver-trained community cooks and nutritionists.

Paul Loman, a member of the Real Junk Food Project, was among the Brighton community cooks taking part.

He shared his new-found knowledge with others so that as many Brighton people as possible can benefit.

He said: “The three training sessions were really useful. 

“The online presentations were easy to follow and there’s a terrific package of supporting material for us to use.

“There’s also a Facebook group where we can link up and compare notes with other trainers across the country.   

“The people I gave training to were so enthused, and they are now volunteering at one of our pop-up cafes. 

“I plan to roll out further sessions later in the year.”

The courses covered knife skills and basic nutrition, as well as offering recipes that can be adapted to complement a wide variety of foods typically donated to food banks.

Oonagh Turnbull, Tesco Head of Health Campaigns, said: “We’re so proud to have provided food education, inspiration and support to vulnerable families across the UK over the last few months.

“The past year has highlighted the need to focus on nutrition and it’s great to have played a part in supporting healthier communities.”

The cookery school initiative launched in 2019 with the aim of training 1,000 community cooks how to make meals with food typically donated by Tesco, while avoiding food waste – a target which was achieved by January 2020.

Katherine Hale, Food Education Manager at Jamie Oliver Group, said: “This year’s programme is focused on the importance of cooking balanced meals from scratch by offering ideas and recipes to increase the use of fruit and veg in everyday meals.

“We’re thrilled to have been able to reach so many community cooks digitally this year, despite the challenges we’ve all faced this year.”

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive at FareShare, said: “The Tesco Community Cookery School has offered cooks an excellent opportunity to further their knowledge and provided inspiration for new meals they can make using food they receive through FareShare.

“This fantastic partnership between Tesco, Jamie Oliver and FareShare has resulted in thousands of families across the UK learning about the importance of nutrition.”