Over the past few months, I’ve accidentally been developing something of a dream job for myself, having suddenly found myself with a lot of free time, 40 hours a week, to be precise. Life has given me lemons, so I'm going to zest them… and put them into a nice pasta or something.
Since May I’ve been bringing friends, family and new friends together over Zoom to cook fresh vegan dishes, taking people out of their comfort zones and showing them their potential in the kitchen. Cumulatively, 80+ spaces have been booked across 7 sessions which began as a very informal way of connecting with the ‘outside’ world.
People from around the world and all over the UK have given me a few hours of their time every other Sunday and in return, I’ve done my best to provide a (much needed) evening of escape into the world of creative cooking, peppered with some Dad jokes and contentious food related ‘Would You Rather’ questions. The sessions have opened up a space for us all to ‘meet’ with others and enjoy some incredible, home cooked food - it’s as simple and satisfying as that.
Always Cook on the Bright Side has evolved from a passion, and a way to pass the furloughed days, into something which I’m now revelling in calling my full time job. It’s simultaneously exhilarating, surreal and daunting.
The support I’ve received so far has been overwhelming, and continues to drive me forward. From the off, everyone who joined brought such a positive and addictive energy that left me feeling so invigorated and hungry for more. Not only that but they really put their trust in me to teach them how to cook exciting and ambitious dishes over Zoom, which, so far, has produced pretty epic results.
I’m aware that the landscape of the world now looks very different to how it looked just a few months ago. People are going out again and enjoying seeing family and friends face-to-face. It’s all a little like being on one of the moving staircases you might find in Hogwarts. You feel as though you know where you’re headed until the rules and regulations change - creating a definitive business model is certainly a challenge when you don’t know what’s coming next. But I’m determined to make this a success.
It would mean so much if everyone continued to cook with me, make my recipes and help me take over the world. I’m thinking ‘Always Cook on the Bright Side’ merch, community spaces, and I might even run for PM and make cook alongs a legal obligation, but all in good time.
Covid 19 has changed the game for so many businesses. Some have found ways to flourish, adapt and grow towards the light at the end of the tunnel. Others have struggled to find their feet or push forward as they had been doing before. I’m using this an opportunity to pursue something I feel incredibly passionate (I hate that word too, but it’s true…) about.
My goal is to ensure that my cook alongs and classes are accessible, inclusive and joyous. Above all, I want people’s senses to be excited, ignited and fulfilled, and for everyone to leave with new found skills and a love of cooking.
I would like to ask you to share your Always Cook experiences with family and friends, reach out if you have any ideas or would like to work together, or book into a class if you haven’t done one already. Your stomach will thank you.
I can't wait to get started. Remember, Always Cook on the Bright Side.