Kiran previously set up Fortnightly Community Feasts and Family Cook and Eat Sessions at the Kingsmead Estate in Hackney for 2 years, and before that 3 years of Weekly Community Feasts at Passing Clouds in Dalston.
Passing Clouds is where it all began, an astounding grass roots community and music venue(which is greatly missed) which lots of amazing community projects grew from.
We have always loved creating community through food and inviting people to share. Steve Wilson started it all in 2010 with a £2,000 grant to buy equipment. For years we were completely unfunded, run be a core team of 6-8 like minded souls, transforming the dance floor into a kitchen every Sunday, and inviting strangers to create a feast and nourish each other. Each week 6-20 folks like you would simply turn up at 2pm, help peel, chop, cook and chat, and between us all we’d co-create a buffet banquet from food waste. We would then open up to Dinner-By-Donation.
With no set menu, People's Kitchen is based on improvising around the food collected, and skills shared, creating a variety of vegan dishes: salads, roast vegetables, mains and desserts, (buying extra ingredients and dry goods when needed).
With 2 host chefs at every Feast, we are happy to guide and inspire volunteers throughout, but mostly we love working together, and pairing proficient cooks with those who are more comfortable assisting with peeling/chopping, etc. The different skills and stories that people bring is 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.
In mid 2017 we received funding from the London Community Foundation and the Evening Standard and 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 are now looking at more permanent spaces and sustainable models to build on. 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 become part of the crew, or if you want help setting up your own People’s Kitchen in your area... we'd love to hear from you.