The Food Partnership to open new Community Kitchen space

New training kitchen and cookery school will help residents learn vital new culinary skills 

by Director of Brighton and Hove Food Partnership Vic Borrill

We are excited to announce that the Food Partnership plans to open a fantastic community kitchen and cookery school early next year where residents can come together to cook, learn new skills and enjoy delicious food.

The Community Kitchen will be a centrally located space offering a range of classes from seasonal cookery and preparing healthy family meals to more complex techniques and new cuisines from around the world. As well as cookery lessons, we will hold subsidised sessions for disadvantaged groups in the city, offer the kitchen and meeting space for hire to groups and professional chefs and provide fun activities for children and families, groups and organisations.

The kitchen will be built in a large ground-floor space in Community Base, Queens Road, Brighton previously used by the Credit Union bank. The design plans for the space are being prepared by the city’s award winning sustainable designer Claire Potter to ensure the space is accessible and welcoming to all, with a large kitchen and additional space for meetings and events.

The Food Partnership’s Director Vic Borrill said: “This is a fantastic step forward for the Food Partnership and something we have dreamed about for a long time. The kitchen will allow us to continue our work using food to create change in people's lives in Sussex.  It is going to take a team to help us create this dream and we want to thank everyone who has helped so far.”

Supporters so far include:

  • Sussex-based chartered surveyors and architectural consultants firm MacConvilles who have agreed to project manage the conversion for us free of charge.
  • the Veolia Environmental Trust for funding towards the building work
  • the players of the People's Postcode Lottery and Jamie Oliver Food Foundation for funding towards the project and equipment for the kitchen.
  • the staff, trustees and current tenants of the building for their enthusiasm for this project.

Community Base Manager Olivia Canham said: "This is the twentieth anniversary of Community Base and following major refurbishment work on the outside of the building, we are looking forward to welcoming Brighton and Hove Food Partnership’s new training kitchen into the centre. It’ll be a great asset to the community."

The Food Partnership aim to finance the kitchen through bookings and some grants but we will need additional funding to launch and maintain the project. The next step is a crowdfunding campaign to ask the public to help equip the kitchen.

Vic said: “We’d love to get the people in Sussex to cook more whether they are complete beginners or keen cooks.  Nutritious home-cooked food is an important element for a healthy lifestyle helping to combat diet-related ill health and improve wellbeing. We also know cooking and sharing meals with others is an important way to reduce isolation, build community and builds confidence and wellbeing.  We hope The Community Kitchen will help encourage people to cook for others when they have learnt new skills.

“Every bit of work we do has food at its heart as we know food brings people together in so many ways. Whether it’s sharing a meal, cooking a healthy dinner or growing your own vegetables to eat, good eating can enhance lives beyond a meal. Our kitchen will be a physical place where we can share our philosophy."

We hope everyone will want to come along to take a course, a workshop or a talk. We aim to have courses to suit all tastes and wallets including low-cost subsidised lessons for disadvantaged groups building on the existing work of the Food Partnership. We will be offering the well-established Jamie's Ministry of Food cookery courses at the centre teaching great healthy recipes and run a programme of courses for individuals to book including courses in seasonal eating, family cookery and healthy eating on a budget.