Edinburgh Food Social – Community cooking with local, sustainable food

Posted: 07 December 2020, in News

At Edinburgh Food Social, we love food. For the last few years we’ve been sharing this passion for local, sustainable and seasonal food through hands-on cookery classes, workshops, school projects and community meals. Our mission is to enhance and extend life through food and in doing so build confidence and enrich communities. We believe that everyone in Scotland deserves to have access to the great produce we have on our doorstep, as well as the means to cook with it if they want to.

Local and seasonal produce are very important to us and so we work very closely with lots of local suppliers and we always make sure to teach all those we work with about the benefits of this. We know first-hand the difference it makes when people shop from small local independent businesses and we want to give back what we can and buy from those around us. By being creative and by using the best quality ingredients we know our food will taste great, while also reducing our environmental impact.

When the pandemic crisis hit, we co-founded Food for Good as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, providing individuals and communities with ready-to-heat food. Food for Good were the first responders to a need for food in Edinburgh, and we were proud to be able to cook and distribute over 65,000 meals to those who needed them.

Recently we have launched another round of community cooking, and between now and the middle of January 2021, we are committed to cooking over 7,500 portions of food for those who need them most, linking up with Edinburgh Community Food, UNICEF, Leith Gives, and the Discover Programme.

In addition to this, we’ve launched a crowdfunder so we can provide Christmas dinners to as many people in need as possible across the city of Edinburgh. However, we can only offer these Community Christmas meals with your help. Just £5 would pay for a 2-course Christmas meal for somebody struggling with food poverty or isolation – so please donate if you can!  

Despite the challenges COVID has thrown at us we have still managed to crack on and we launched our Good Food Apprenticeship – an employability programme giving young people the skills and understanding to create a career for themselves in the food industry.

We teach ‘intuitive cooking’, intended to foster a willingness to experiment. We often avoid using recipes so that apprentices are open to learning alternative ways of doing things, preparing them for the realities of working in different professional kitchens and encouraging them to exercise their own creativity. Interwoven into the cooking curriculum are behind-the-scenes visits to producers, growers and farms to educate and excite apprentices about sustainable food practices. The goal here is to engendering a passion for, and understanding of, seasonal Scottish produce and creating young champions for an improved local food culture.

Our social enterprise is supported by our cookery classes, dinners and events as well as profits from our range of delicious small-batch gins.

This year, we will be delivering Christmas party dinners on Thursdays throughout December. We have sourced the finest British ingredients to create a traditional, delicious 3 course meal prepared by our tutors & students. Buying yourself a meal is an awesome way to support our social enterprise and our Christmas dinners even come with a range of incredible wine matches from L’Art du Vin so jump online and find out more if you can. We’re also selling our inaugural homemade Christmas Pudding – this pudding has been made with ingredients from our friends across the city then steamed, fed delicious Pedro Ximenez sherry and wrapped, all ready for you to warm and serve on Christmas Day.

Here at Edinburgh Food Social we hope you’ve also been able to find some joy and do some good in 2020. We look forward to finishing cooking our Christmas dinners for the community and then going home and enjoying eating our own. Throughout 2021 we’ll be here, cooking for those who need it, sharing our knowledge and providing delicious meals – until then have a wonderful holidays and please, don’t be strangers.

Kirsty Haigh
Chef, Tutor and Fundraiser
Edinburgh Food Social