Our story so far...
Kitchen School is a cookery school with a mission to inspire people to grow, cook and love their food.
We have been making a name for ourselves in Birmingham as a place that's serious about growing, cooking and eating. We are the only business around here that offers all these skills at once. We think you really can't cook till you know something about the raw ingredients.
We are currently homeless. That is to say, our cookery school right now is pop up perfection.
Our Crowd Funder campaign is to raise some finance to place a cookery school at our food growing garden to create a true experience of growing, cooking and eating. We have secured premises next door to our urban farm but it needs refurbishing into a kitchen and cookery school, which is where you come in....please read on.
Our cookery classes are led by Birmingham’s best chefs, home cooks, suppliers or producers and restaurants. Pictured above is ex-masterchef finalist, Claire Hutchings cooking for our Christmas Supper Club last year - at my house.
We also have an amazing canalside city centre garden called Edible Eastside, where we teach people to grow their own food on a neglected industrial estate. We have enjoyed a fantastic four years of al fresco cookery with no facilities - oh yes that's our other problem - the weather. (See below a great summer night unusual for us.)
Why we need you...
Kitchen School needs a home. Edible Eastside needs indoor cooking facilities.
If we had everything in one place we could offer a food hub - a space for our home grown cooks where you can plant a carrot seed, love it, pick it, cook it, and then eat it with lashings of melted butter and fresh coriander and a whaft of nutmeg...delicious....sorry lost in thought there.
Picture it, a cookery school surrounded by vegetables, herbs and flowers ready for cooking.
Well we've got it. Here is the picture (below). The building in the background is our new premises. The orange flowers are marigolds in wooden containers companions to the vegetables and herbs we grow.
The new school could double our capacity. We already have listed buildng consent for a commercial kitchen so we can dine there too and hire out our facilities to others who need it.
Our alfresco garden dining could be prepared in a kitchen with running water. What deep joy that would be.
So now what's our problem?
Our new premises is currently an office - and it's in a Grade 2 listed building. We need to raise the finance to reburbish it into a cookery school, sensitively and professionally. This is why we need you.
The money we are trying to raise will just cover the costs to refurbish two former office meeting rooms. In one room we will have al the equipment, applicances and extraction.
In another room we are putting the cookery classooms with two long workstation benches for 12 people to work comfortably at.
We need new floors, gas and electric connections, cookers, fridges, freezers, storage, extraction - everything!
Why would you help?
We are a social enterprise with limited access to finance and a way too big a heart. We think it's important to offer something to everyone. We like being accessible and affordable to people who really need our knowledge and skills to get by, this means not selling out to the corporate market but ploughing our profits into our work and our community.
No one is safe from our infectious enthusiam for good food, so we do work with everyone. A permanent school, however, would mean a more stable and long term growth so our message of sustainability includes our business too!
So who are we from adam?
(Bet no one has said that ridiculous phrase to you for a while?) No one here is called Adam. The we - we keep mentioning - are two cooks and a chef. You can visit our website to read our biographies in MEET THE TEAM, but briefly we are Jayne Bradley (Director and local food systems campaigner), Bethan Rees (Marketing and excellent baker) and Chris Hughes (Masterclass teacher, lecturer and supper club chef). We are all passionate about food and have been cooking professionally for a long time. Jayne Bradley set up Edible Eastside because she wanted to demonstrate the benefits of city centre growing for a more sustainable city life. The garden quickly turned into a food destination because the proof is always in the eating. Local food tastes better.
The team take most of the classes and we use part time gardners and other freelance cooks when we can.
Okay you get why we need your need help - but really - what are the benefits?
This is the $64,000 question isn't it.
Well, did you know that 24% of our carbon emissions is attributed to the food system (that'a a lot of badly fed cows emitting methane into the atmosphere if get my drift)? So eating more responsibly could really help that polar bear we keep seeing pictures of looking lost and hungry to survive, because global temperatures havent risen as much. (apologies to you climate change experts for this simple resume but we are trying to keep it brief).
Eating less meat, sourcing food locally and generally eating less can really help reduce the impact food has on the planet. We are doing our bit by giving people the skills, knowledge and opportunity to make the right food choices. By helping us, you are doing your bit too.
We work with people who don't know how to cook and live on take-aways and ready meals. Did you know that obesity isnt about being weak willed with the coca-cola? It's about access to good food, portion sizes detirmined by food manufacturers (with profits in mind) and advertisers messages that we cannot escape from. Something's got to change; it's about the long term, skills not food bank hand outs surely?
We think we can help people with their diets. A permanently based cookery school will help us help more, and your help will help us help them even more. Still with us? Good.
So - finally - we are asking you to pledge to help us make a real difference to our community and to have an impact on the world and it's diets.
The best bit....benefits to you
There are some fantastic rewards for your pledges. We have it on good authority that we have some of the best pledges on Crowd Funder right now that will make amazing Christmas presents and gifts and seriously there really is something in it for you, if you would keep going and take a look.
Below are some of the images of our work and some of our pledges. Take a look and then PLEDGE!!
This is Chris taking a masterclass in crab preparation and dressing. This next image is the dining room at Jayne's house. The class and team building offers would be here or at a city restaurant where we also pop-up. If you can wait we can also hold them in our new bespoke dining room if you PLEDGE!!
This is an image of chefs (Blanch & Shock) harvesting for a meal we held in the garden in 2013 for 100 people. The other two images are of a cookery class in action. The yellow tank is one of our favourite images of Edible Eastside taken from the the other side of the canal.
Below is some of our pickled veg. Your home made preserve reward would be in a jar like this but smaller, should you go for the jam option. This season we have some amazing crab apple jelly and our own-made brown sauce is legendary. Next is Albert our bread maker. He's managed to get non-cooks making bread including Jayne, who is now a sough dough maniac. His open and honest meditation on the benefits of bread to our mental health is inspiring. (clue: it's about creating narratives and slowing down).
This is Jayne posing for a photograph reading a NOMA cookbook - we teach the essense of Nordic cookery - using local ingredients but also in a locally distinctive way.
The final image is Pizza making at Edible Eastside, yours for only £15.00 with a beer thrown in. You can even make it yourself. WELL - WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? CHANGE THE WORLD, OUR WORLD AND PLEDGE.