I have always believed in the power of food. Not just to keep us alive, but to help us thrive; not only to sustain us physically but to nourish our souls and help us enrich our relationships with others. I also believe passionately that everyone should have access to good, healthy food, have the skills to be able to eat well and have the opportunity to share a meal with others. There are moments in every Cyrenians’ cooking class when food delivers all of this, and more.
My own ‘food journey’ (as the TV cookery shows like to call it) to the Cyrenians’ cooking classes has been a meandering path. Born into a eating-obsessed family, food has often been my way of making sense of the world. During a recent 10-year stint as a journalist in India I discovered the best, and most enjoyable way, to connect with others was through the sharing of food.
The journey took a different turn when we returned to Edinburgh two years ago. Scotland initially didn’t feel like home, even though we have family and friends here, and we struggled to readjust until a chance encounter led me to volunteering in the Cyrenians’ cooking classes. Sharing my love of food and encouraging others to take the first steps on their own food journeys has been immensely rewarding and helped me to feel at home again.
So I was thrilled when I was recently offered the opportunity to take on a new role within the Cyrenians. As Media and Project Support Officer in the Good Food team I work with an amazing group of people who:
- teach hundreds of people a year how to cook and enjoy a range of healthy, budget-friendly meals;
- run a growing network of community cook clubs – little pockets of cooking and chatting all over the city and beyond;
- Run courses which train others to run cooking class programmes
My job is to tell the world about this amazing work, hopefully reaching more people who might benefit from it. One of the first things that happened when I joined the team was the grand opening by cooking legend Prue Leith of the new Flavour and Haver Cook School. The team, needless to say, is fizzing with ideas for ways to use our new state-of-the-art kitchen to help more people experience the power of food.
6th March 2018
* Over the next few weeks, Food Education manager and pastry chef Sue O’Neill Berest will be running a series Saturday morning cooking masterclasses which are open to all. Find out more about how to become a pastry pro or bake showstopping Easter treats http://cyrenians.scot/community-and-food/good-food/food-ed/