coexist community kitchen
Coexist community kitchen Chef in residence
My role at the Community Kitchen consisted of developing the cookery classes and events, creating new partnerships and outreach programmes, managing the kitchen, running workshops and providing the weekly community lunch for the residents of the building.
I was very lucky to be able to use the spacious commercial kitchen for my festival catering throughout the summer in return for hours worked. I couldn't have found a better place to land in Bristol and I continue to help out at Coexist from time to time.
joining the coexist family
I first came to Bristol in 2013. Stepping off the coach fresh from picture perfect Cambridge, I remember being a bit taken aback. My first impression was that it was grubby, in the most vibrant, edgy, 'come and get involved' kind of way.
My friend came to meet me and we walked through the Bear Pit and up the road to 'THIS REALLY COOL PLACE YOU"RE GONNA LOVE IT'. From the moment I stepped into the foyer of Hamilton House, with its wall to wall covering of posters, graffiti, ballet/yoga/african dance/singing/wellbeing class schedules, I knew my days in Cambridge were numbered. The building had an energy and chaotic charisma all of its own and I wanted to be part of it. We sat on the terrace of The Canteen, a restaurant, bar and music venue within Hamilton House and had a lunch of fresh, local ingredients and a pint of Wiper and True ale. As I admired the Banksy on the wall opposite me, I planned an undeniably brilliant life move to this dynamic town.
Fast forward 9 months, I've survived my first festival season, my little van is loaded with all my worldly goods and I'm finally moving to Bristol. I decide to check the internet for part time jobs to keep me occupied whilst I find my feet. I type 'Hamilton House Jobs' as my first search and there, as if the fairy godmother of perfect jobs had waved her magic wand, I read:
'Chef in residence position at Coexist Community Kitchen, part time hours in return for use of commercial kitchen, would suit small food business owner.'
I applied for the position, baked some of my finest black garlic brownies to lure my future bosses into believing as strongly as I did that I was the one for the job, and trotted off to my interview. The black garlic bribery worked a treat and I think they also thought I'd be quite good in the role. I became part of the Coexist family in November 2014.
In February 2015 we held a fundraiser dinner at Hamilton House before heading off to Calais to offer our funds raised and services at The Refugee Community Kitchen. Some images below of the fundraiser and our time in Calais. My first time cooking veggie moussaka for 1000 people!