Mark spends some quality time at a social enterprise with food at its heart
This month Mark is in a special kitchen
My kitchen for this month is at The Feed, a social enterprise catering business based on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich. The great thing about this organisation, created in 2014, is that it aims to make a difference in not one but three ways.
First is their café. Open for breakfast and lunch six days a week, it is perhaps best known for its freshly made ciabatta sandwiches, jacket potatoes and cakes. The profits go to the charity foundation which supports various local homelessness initiatives.
They have a corporate catering arm which some of you will have heard of. There was some excitement during my visit on the subject of the first wedding on the books. A vegan chilli is to take centre stage.
Its website has a page detailing where and when people in need can get free and/or cheap food, each day of the week.
But it is its training course that caught my eye and which has led to my visit. The Feed runs a four week course, providing adults who face barriers to employment with the skills required to work in the food and hospitality industry.
I joined a group at the beginning of their second week. Our task for the day was to prepare and serve two salad boxes which are on the corporate catering menu. I was set to work with half the group on the falafel, fruity couscous and roasted vegetable option; the others prepared one with chicken, noodles and an oriental dressing.
Working to Gemma’s recipes under the expert tutelage of Laura, I am confident we nailed it, as was confirmed by Lucy and her colleagues in the office when we served up.
The hummus-like dressing for our falafel dish was superb. I have somehow managed to come away with the recipe.
Two highlights during the rest of this week include preparing and serving canapés in the café and a trip to Kettle Foods, whose support for the enterprise takes many valuable forms. Next week they will be learning the ways of the coffee barista.
Graduates of the scheme are already flourishing in our city’s restaurants. They have one especially marvellous success story – but I don’t want to mention it ahead of its own special press unveiling...
More generally speaking, Lucy describes the pride the team feels at the transformation of its trainees over the four weeks, particularly the confidence they display with their cooking and front of house awareness.
Interested in being part of the journey? As well as donating on their website, The Feed is always happy to hear from those wishing to volunteer and have a variety of roles available, not least of which is making a happy couple’s special day a culinary success.
Editor’s note: The photographs on last month’s page should have been credited to Jessica Aline Hay, jessaline.co.uk Apologies for the omission.
ABOVE:Mark at work at The Feed