Migrateful is now streaming live online cookery classes to help people get inspired in the kitchen, and to keep the charity afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Founder Jess Thompson explains.
Our charity Migrateful runs cookery classes led by migrant chefs struggling to integrate and access employment in the UK due to legal and linguistic barriers. The cookery classes provide ideal conditions not just for learning English and building confidence, but also for promoting contact and cultural exchange with the wider community – I wrote recently for the Bristol Going for Gold blog about setting up in Bristol.
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, and in compliance with government guidelines, we have had to cancel all our cookery classes for the foreseeable future. As a small social enterprise relying almost exclusively on ticket sales to fund our programme, this was a hard blow to the very fabric of the organisation. But through resilience, innovative thinking and the wonders of modern technology, hope is at hand.
In an effort to keep the charity alive, continue empowering vulnerable migrants, and to foster a sense of community during these times of social distancing, Migrateful will be launching a series of virtual cooking classes.
With a cohort of 32 chefs from around the world, participants can expect to learn cuisines as diverse as Lebanese, Syrian, Albanian, Pakistani, and more! As the general public spends more time than usual in the kitchen these days, the classes offer a way to build cooking skills and discover a new culinary tradition from the comfort of one’s home, all whilst helping a great cause.
Participants will be sent a list of ingredients needed for the recipe and a Zoom meeting link ahead of time. During the interactive cookery session, the chef will lead the group through the recipe, stopping frequently to answer questions, share anecdotes, and provide feedback on the dishes. All online classes will be listed on the Migrateful website and pricing is based on a pay-what-you-can donation system. Gift vouchers for the online classes are also available to purchase.
Jess Thompson is the founder and CEO of Migrateful.