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Ground-breaking School of Food Under Construction in Hackney

An empty caretaker’s cottage in the grounds of Clapton’s Mandeville School is being converted into Hackney School of Food.

The inspirational project is the brainchild of Chefs in Schools, a team of chefs and teachers aiming to transform food, food culture and food education in primary schools.

Construction work has started on the distinctive building, which has been designed by architects Surman Weston.

Describing the project, a spokesperson for Chefs in Schools said: “Here, the building blocks of a healthy food culture will be formed with children, young people and their families from across inner city London gaining hands-on experience of how to grow their own produce and cook affordable, healthy and balanced meals. 

“We will also offer professional training programmes, which will open up job opportunities in food, and specifically school food, for individuals taking part, helping to break down barriers between sectors.”

This will be the charity’s first teaching school, providing facilities for professional chefs to teach children how to grow, cook and eat healthy food. It’s part of a nationwide initiative and the architect has been asked to make its plans a prototype for wider roll-out, with easily replicable details.

A spokesperson for Surman Weston said: ’Everything has to be suitable for both children and adults, so height-adjustable cooking units have been specially designed for the scheme. The aesthetic was also designed to be inviting and playful without becoming infantile, so as to appeal to all age groups.’

As part of the scheme, the caretaker’s house is being converted into a professional kitchen and the grounds will be landscaped into vegetable gardens, greenhouses, an orchard and kitchen garden.

It’s due to open next Spring.

For more information visit the website.

Image Credit: Immy Lucas

Here, the building blocks of a healthy food culture will be formed with children, young people and their families

Posted 19th September 2019