Our construction timeline has shifted and we now aim to open to the public in January 2015. It has been a challenging 9 months but, as cooking schools typically take 18 months to launch we are pleased with the progress we have made. Anyone who has worked with a listed building can only imagine the challenges but in all honesty, it has been an incredible journey. I think at least 70 people have been involved with making a dream a reality and I hope to thank many of them during the launch party.
Robert has been fantastic at managing the construction process whilst I’ve been focusing on creating the timetable of activity. We’ve both enjoyed meeting suppliers and are pleased to be using Aga Rangemaster cookers and kitchen units. The company was voted ‘Best Midlands Radical Design and Innovation’ in a public poll organised as part of the Birmingham Made Me Design Expo celebrations. Celebrating talent in our city is so important to us.
We’ve identified three fantastic chef tutors who will deliver demonstrations and hands-on cooking classes. Anita actually attended the Food School when it was a school. Lap is well known for his supper clubs, cooking classes and food blog and Charlotte is one of those special people who has achieved so much at such a young age – she has published eight cook books by the time she was 30 and travels the world as a food journalist for national and international newspapers and magazines.
We’ve received such amazing feedback and support from the community. I love meeting people who are passionate about cooking and sharing their skills. A neighbour recently popped in to say that even though he is working full-time for a major company in the city, he would love to teach regional Spanish cuisine. Eduardo will now also be one of our regular chef tutors. His session plans just look fantastic. We’ve also met charities, schools and organisations who want to develop joint programmes and I look forward to hearing the outcomes of various tenders.
The great thing about our cooking classes and food/drink events is that they will be fantastic social occasions. We’ve identified genuine talent and tutors that are able to communicate effectively and engage diverse audiences. Yes, we are passionate about health and sustainability but first and foremost, our aim is to create a beautiful space where the community wants to share personal food experiences, discover new tastes, meet new people and develop their skills. We are proud that such a magical venue is being created in Birmingham and we believe that this is the only city in the UK where such a concept can be realised.
We look forward to you joining us on this fantastic food journey! It’s a once in a lifetime experience and one we want to share with you.