Fifteen for you: frequently asked questions about our Community Kitchen

olly community chefAs we get further into our crowdfunding February, one thing has become very clear – and that is the immense enthusiasm across Brighton and Hove for a Community Kitchen. It’s evident from the calls we’re getting into our offices, from the conversations we’re having with people at events and the incredible buzz across social media.

As so many people want to get involved, it seemed sensible to pull together some of the most frequently asked questions being put to the Food Partnership team.

So whether you want to volunteer your services, go on a course, lead a course or otherwise get involved, read on…

1. Can I donate equipment instead of money?
We have a preferential price agreement with a major supplier so it makes sense for us to purchase all our equipment from them.  However, if you already have a particularly large piece of equipment in new or very good condition and think the kitchen can benefit from it, please contact us.We’d love to see your smaller items of equipment donated to our Kitchen Swish event. All proceeds from this will go to the Community Kitchen.

2. I’ve qualified for a cooking class via my crowdfund donation. How do I make sure I can get the class I want?
Anyone who pledges for the crowdfund campaign will be given priority booking for courses in the Community Kitchen once they go on sale. We expect to have a wide range of options available so everyone can find something they’re keen to attend. If the crowdfund is successful and our building works go to plan, we expect courses to be running from June 2018, with booking available from April 2018.

3. How do I find out about classes at the Community Kitchen?
We’ll be running a wide range of courses, from the art of fermentation to the flavours of Spain and North Africa, bread baking for beginners and vegan cookery. Details on all the courses will be on the Food Partnership website and announced via our email newsletter. See a preview of our ideas here.

4. How much will the classes cost?
Rates for classes will typically start from £35 for a shorter evening class or £50 for an afternoon session, with concessionary rates available for full-time students and people receiving benefits. There will be some higher fees depending on the nature of the ingredients needed.

5. I want to buy a cookery class as a present. Will you be offering gift vouchers?
We will definitely be offering cookery class vouchers once the Community Kitchen is up and running. We have also joined the local Good Money scheme so that anyone with a Good Money voucher can spend their money with us and a range of other independent local businesses.

6. How do I find out about subsidised courses?
Our website is kept up to date with the range of community cookery courses available – currently we work with people with dementia, mental health problems and learning disabilities but we hope to expand our offer in the near future. Find out more about community courses.

7. How can I refer my clients for courses at the Community Kitchen?
We work with a range of professionals and services in the city to identify people who can benefit from our courses. Please just get in touch if you want to discuss the options for your client. Even if we can’t currently offer a course, we can usually signpost people to other food-related activities in the city.

8. How big will the classes be?
Typical classes will have 10-12 people. This is based on the number of cooking stations that will surround our central demonstration station in the Kitchen.

9. Do course participants bring in their own ingredients?
We will provide all ingredients for cookery classes, based on our sustainable sourcing policy and in partnership with a range of local and ethical food suppliers who we have worked with over the past 10 years. We also coordinate the city’s Surplus Food Network so may sometimes be able to use ingredients that would have gone to waste in our cookery activities.

Older people eating food at a table10. What will happen to the meals cooked in the Kitchen?
We hope that all meals cooked in the Community Kitchen will be enjoyed at the end of courses at a large communal table. We see sharing food cooked in the Kitchen as part of the fun of attending a course. Sometimes this won’t be practical of course, for example with a fermentation course. We work hard to reduce food waste so will provide containers so participants can take their creations home.

11. What happens to the waste that the Kitchen produces?
All our courses aim to keep food waste and packaging to a minimum. However any unavoidable waste that does occur will be addressed through a combination of composting, recycling and anaerobic digestion services locally.

12. How do I find out about teaching at the Kitchen?
We are lucky to have a team of cookery teachers who have worked with us over the years, including people with a wide range of skills and experience in different cuisines and techniques or in supporting people during our community courses. But we know we will want to expand on this skill set as the Community Kitchen project develops. If you want to get involved, please sign-up to our email newsletters to be informed about opportunities as they arise.

13. How do I find out about volunteering at the Kitchen?
Volunteers are crucial to our work, with many people already supporting participants and cookery leaders in our community cookery courses. We expect the range of volunteer roles to expand as the Community Kitchen project develops. Please sign-up to our newsletters to be notified of any opportunities, or browse the directory on our website for information about volunteering opportunities at other food projects in the city.

Cookery Session at a community kitchen14. How can I hire the venue and what will it cost?
The Community Kitchen will be available for hire to community groups, charities and businesses initially. We hope to make the space available for individuals to hire (e.g. for birthday parties, private supper clubs etc.) from January 2019. We will hire the space for four-hour slots – weekday mornings, afternoons and evenings and Saturdays daytime only. Please contact us for more information about costs.

15. Are there discounts for community groups hiring the Kitchen ?
We aim to provide discounts for small community groups, particularly where they can be flexible about taking on available time slots.

If we’ve failed to answer your question please get in touch! Email info@bhfood.org.uk or call 01273 431700.

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