People’s Kitchen was set up in late 2010 by Steve Wilson, with a grant of £2,000. This bought all our equipment, (including an oven and hobs) and a little time to get the idea established.
Over the years we grew through word of mouth to 6-8 volunteer core members who shared running of the Sunday Feasts. Every Sunday for 4 years we ran our community feasts at Passing Clouds in Dalston, transforming the dance floor into a kitchen, and helping volunteers cook dishes for 30-100 guests, on a dinner by donation basis. People like you would arrive at 2.30pm to help peel, chop and cook, or at 6pm to eat, and tidy up afterwards. Most Sundays 8 to 20 volunteers would turn up from different parts of London, and further afield, to help make a Buffet Banquet from food waste.
With no set menu, People's Kitchen is based on improvising around the food collected, and skills shared, creating a variety mostly vegan dishes: salads, roast vegetables, mains and desserts, (buying extras and dry goods when needed).
With 2 host chefs at every Feast, we are happy to guide and inspire volunteers when needed, but mostly we love working together, and pairing proficient cooks with those who are more comfortable assisting with peeling/chopping, etc. It's what makes every Sunday vibrant and different.
By late 2015 we lost our home at Passing Clouds, some core members went on to focus on different projects and others took People's Kitchen to new journeys. Kiran Chahal and David Latto each acquired funding from Hackney Council to inspire others through year long family cook and eat sessions and workshops for young people at the Kingsmead Estate in Homerton & the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden. Kiran Chahal started running PK.
In mid 2017 we received funding from the London Community Fundation and the Evening Standard and have set up a new base at Weavers Adventure Playground in Bethnal Green. With fortnightly feasts, and the desire to move from being run as a volunteer organisation to something more solid, we shall see what the next steps are. Ultimately People's Kitchen will grow from people like you, who'll add new skills and ideas... If you feel inspired to join us and share your skills... we'd love to hear from you.