Interview with David J Latto – The People’s Kitchen

When Finders Eaters heard about the People’s Kitchen, we just had to check it all out! And who better to ask than the People’s Kitchen’s own David J Latto. He takes control of the community aspect and making sure leftover food is made the most out of – by the people who really need it most.

Food Stall
Credit: Wikipedia

 

So! What’s this enterprise all about David?

“Essentially, we think that sharing food with strangers is one of the nicest ways to spread happiness. And if the food has been saved from going to waste, it makes it even tastier. That’s our philosophy anyway – and we hope more and more people are going to come to agree!”

When I popped down to meet him, I wanted to get the low-down on why ventures like these are so important – and he told me that a combination of love for food, and people – is the inspiration behind it all! And it’s in aid of people who might not have the means, particularly financially, to nourish themselves.

David tells me that the dedicated team behind him and the People’s Kitchen collect food that would otherwise be thrown away from local shops, markets and businesses: “We then invite people to cook together in a local kitchen, or on our bicycle kitchen – whether you just want to chop onions or are up for taking charge of a dish, you’re in.

-“After that, we welcome everyone to enjoy a meal on a donations basis.”

“Primarily, it’s a community – and that’s really the key thing here.” He assures me with a great deal of pride that first and foremost the staff are family, friends and neighbours, city folk with the same THREE goals.

Which Are?

“They’re always the same” David insists, everyone that has had anything to do with the People’s Kitchen follows them like law. “A fun law of course, don’t be put off!”

1. Getting people together. “It might be a cliché, but we believe food gets people talking.” So the People’s Kitchen events are completely collaborative, he says, and “we have made new friends at each single one.

2. Sharing skills and learn new ones. “Another cliché”: David says the People’s Kitchen love South London because of the diversity of its people…and its diversity of culinary skills: “We want to build on the expertise within our communities, swapping ideas and knowledge at our events. Our events include recipe swaps and cooking demonstrations from members of the community.”

3. Reducing food waste. Brixton is a key player as a food hub location wise with its array of markets and restaurants. According to the People’s Kitchen website: ‘It is estimated that 36% of Brixton’s waste is food. However, food waste from retailers only account for a small portion of the total amount of food we waste – the majority actually comes from households. We want to avoid moralising and instead inspire people through hands-on cooking sessions that encourage people to think about creative ways around food waste reduction.’

Essentially the key word is community. “That’s what we’re all about, community feel, community drive, community spirit, and this is reflected in the People’s Kitchen THREE most important goals.” (see above!)

 

So what are the aims – and just who is this food-friendly feast for?!

 

  • Getting people together. It might be a cliché, but we believe food gets people talking. (people’s kitchen events are completely collaborative) “we have made new friends at each single one!”
  • Sharing skills and learn new ones. Another cliché: we love South London because of the diversity of its people…and its diversity of culinary skills. We want to build on the expertise within our communities, swapping ideas and knowledge at our events. Our events include recipe swaps and cooking demonstrations from members of the community.
  • Reducing food waste. With its markets and numerous restaurants, Brixton is a food hub. It is estimated that 36% of Brixton’s waste is food. However, food waste from retailers only account for a small portion of the total amount of food we waste – the majority actually comes from households. We want to avoid moralising and instead inspire people through hands-on cooking sessions that encourage people to think about creative ways around food waste reduction.

Fancy Volunteering? Or just keeping up to date on what’s going on in the Greater London area that you can enjoy?

People’s Kitchens

There are several People’s Kitchens in London.Dalston

“We always need volunteers.. if you’d like to help cook/peel/chop we begin at 3pm”
Or if you’d like to just come and eat; dinner is served at 6pm (& on a donations basis)
join the facebook group:
& if you have any other questions you can email d.latto@yahoo.com
At Passing Clouds: 1 Richmond Road, Dalston, E8 4AA
BrixtonThe Brixton kitchen runs at Myatt’s Fields and have a mobile kitchen – so can be anywhere.To follow the Brixton kitchen

http://brixtonpk.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BrixtonPeoplesKitchen

https://twitter.com/BrixtonPK

For more info on what we at Finders Eaters are going to be getting involved in around Greater London inspired by #foodwaste – tweet us right now @finderseaters_ or comment below! #PuttheFunbackintoFood!!
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