We recently delivered our “From Farm to table and In-between” course as part of the Islington Summerversity and Launchpad programmes. The five-session course marked our first partnership with businesses located in the King’s Cross development area such as the Canopy Market, Waitrose Cookery School and Caravan restaurant. Our sessions were aimed at informing our young participants about various pathways into choosing food as a career; as a chef, cooking instructor, barista, coffee consultant or floor manager at a restaurant.

The outdoor sessions were supplemented by cooking sessions at the Copenhagen Youth Project (CYP), where our participants put to work what they learnt from the food professionals they interacted with. All the sessions ended with us eating together; eating at the outdoor locations was a welcome change from our usual spot at the CYP. It was also wonderful seeing a few familiar faces from the after-school club among our participants.

Our first collaborative session was in the gigantic and well-stocked cooking stations at the Waitrose cookery school, where we had an absolute blast making the cheesiest, most flavourful enchiladas. The instructors at Waitrose meticulously broke down the different stages of enchiladas from measuring out cups of passatafor the spicy, rich filling to mashing avocados and shallots for a good guacamole. No Mexican-themed cooking session is complete without an argument over who gets the most cheese, which we are proud to say ended with a peaceful agreement to be good kids and share everything. The session was also an opportunity for the kids to understand improvisation in the kitchen and learning to adjust or substitute ingredients based on individual tastes.

The second collaborative session saw us dropping by the Caravan restaurant kitchen for a behind-the-scenes experience of a busy lunch service that ended with some piping hot pizzas and tidy, pretty plates of Eton Mess. We got to shadow the chefs in the kitchen, yelled “backs!” just like the professionals did, shivered in the cold depths of the walk-in cooler and then warmed ourselves by the pizza oven! We even got a chance to chat with the resident coffee consultant about where Caravan’s beans come from and how they get roasted, as well as the tricks to the perfect filter coffee. The kids also took orders, wrote order tickets and went behind the bar counter with the bartender-in-chief to make some delicious mocktails and a super-duper peanutbutter smoothie!

That ended one of the most delicious summer holidays we have ever had!

by Gowri Devika – Eat Club Team