MEET OUR TEAM
Bringing the kitchen to life
We're blessed to have such a rich mix of people helping to create a space where our community can come cook, share, learn and be together.
There are way too people many to list down who have played a huge part in supporting the kitchen along the way since we began in 2011. Without you, we wouldn't have this incredible space and be running the classes we now are. This is our current team.
Community Food, Outreach
& Events Manager
'I've been cooking for 20 years, using food as a way to communicate and engage with people. I truly believe cooking can be a form of recreational therapy, you can find calm by slowing rolling pasta or release built up energy and emotions through kneading dough. Escape and relax for a moment to produce something wonderful and share with others. From my experience this has such a lasting impression on people. Not just building one’s self esteem, but going back home to bring families together or spark something to create positive change.
Community Food, Volunteer & Engagement Manager
'Food is so much more than fuel. For me, cooking, eating and sharing food together is one of the most tangible ways to connect with others, strengthen communities, and start to address the issues we face in society.
I'm so grateful to be part of the Community Kitchen! Everyone who walks through the door receives such a warm welcome, it really does feel like coming to another home and family.'
'When I volunteer at the Community Kitchen, I feel I am home and that I am surrounded by family.
I've learnt so many wonderful things whilst volunteering at the kitchen, which will help me to approach my own dreams to one day run a restaurant.
Everyone at the Community Kitchen is super kind and friendly, and I'm lucky to have them in my life.'
Trainee Cookery Tutor & Caterer
'I have always been endlessly fascinated with cooking, and I feel strongly that tasty and nutritious food should be accessible to all. Food is such a key part of being a human, and learning new skills and empowering people so that they can care for themselves and others can go some way to helping people's quality of life.
It is a joy to be part of the Coexist community kitchen, i'm constantly inspired by people I meet here and my colleagues.'
'I'm incredibly passionate about using food as a way to bring people together, make ourselves feel good and challenge the issues that are going on around us in this really unequal society.
I believe food is joy, politics, community as well as of course nourishment. I love this kitchen and the people who make their way here. Whether it's chatting over a tea or chopping onions, it feels like home for me, and I hope for many others too.'
'What I love about food is that it’s such a great connector - I love to grow food with people; to talk about food with people who share the passion; to cook with people; and above all to share a meal. And as well as bringing us closer together, it connects us with the seasons and the natural environment.
Working for Coexist community kitchen means I get to do a lot of the above! And it’s great to know that I’m working with a great team who make a big difference to a lot of peoples’ lives!'
'I am the sort of person that would do anything to have a gathering around food so being part of a team that brings people together in the Coexist Community Kitchen to create and share food is just the best.
I get to see the transformation that happens when individuals feel safe, supported and begin to make connections with others preparing food and sharing it around a dining table.
Creative Marketing Lead
Food has an incredible way of bonding people, and is something every one of us can relate to regardless of where we’re from. It’s embedded in our family life and friendships, travels and adventures. I think that’s why it’s so special when you can share it.
I feel so grateful to be part of the Coexist Kitchen. It’s like a big family and just like a family, it never takes long for someone to offer you some delicious food to try!
'I've always admired the work of the Community Kitchen so when Claudia and Ari asked me to join the team to teach on their Speak & Eat programme, I was thrilled!
I have been teaching ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) for 15 years and have always used food in my courses for students to share an important part of their culture and identity with each other.
It's such a powerful way to connect and develop conversational skills!
'I moved from Italy in 2015 and I would have never thought of staying this long and falling in love with my job at the Community Kitchen!
My passion is to cook yes, but more than everything else I love to see people enjoying food together.
For me, food is warm, is home, is family. I really believe that food is a magical element that brings diversity and conversations around the table.'