What is a vegan community kitchen?

You’ve probably got to this page as you are interested in a vegan community cookery school or kitchen. Or perhaps you want to find out a bit more on what one is and why it could be a welcome addition to your area.

The Made In Hackney story

Made In Hackney was the UK’s first vegan community kitchen and cookery school when we opened our doors in 2012 and we have created the Global Plant Kitchens programme for others to learn from so we can support the growing movement of food justice organisations.

Our community kitchen runs classes focused on learning how to cook healthy, sustainable and affordable meals as a way to improve wellbeing and tackle social isolation. And it just so happens that all our recipes are 100% plant-based! That means that everything we do is free from all animal products: no meat, no fish, no dairy, no eggs, no honey. Just whole food plants, grains and pulses. Other community kitchens might be social eating spaces or provide meals to the community.

Food as a basic fundamental right for all

The core value of our cookery school is that the programme is for everyone. We openly welcome people from all parts of our community knowing that bringing people together through food is very powerful. It provides an opportunity to share experiences, cultures and – most importantly – a nourishing meal.

Food education is vital to the future of our individual health – as well as that of the planet. Globally there has been a rapid increase in diet-related health conditions in recent decades. In many places people face food poverty with hunger affecting over 800 million people across the world.Plus almost 60% of carbon emissions come from animal agriculture.

Reforming the global food system 

To solve these issues food policy, supply and distribution has to change on a global level. However, that change will not happen overnight so at Made In Hackney we believe that action at a local level will help create change that influences our local society and subsequently the wider world.

In the UK many people are short of time, money and skills to cook healthy, nutritious and affordable meals. Our community kitchen provides solutions to these issues whilst inspiring people to eat food that is good for themselves, the planet and animals. Made In Hackney vegan cooking classes are for everyone but with a focus on groups that have the most to gain such as marginalised groups or those with a low income.

A vegan community kitchen – for everyone

In our community kitchen we don’t push the vegan message – we let the food speak for itself. We tell people that through our classes they can learn healthy recipes, meet their neighbours, have food and feed themselves or their families for free. Over ten years of running classes like this has shown that there is an appetite for a healthier future – and we are proud to be shaping that future.

Step into our Global Plant Kitchens programme to discover how a vegan community kitchen could work in your area.

If you want to be inspired before you start, why not listen to Made In Hackney founder Sarah Bentley deliver a TedX talk on Why The World Needs Community Kitchens?

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