Our company was created in 2011 with support from East London social entrepreneurs Lord Mawson and Paul Brickell who have worked over 30 years in the East London area. Food Academy wanted to combine this expertise and a focus on evidence-based interventions and research to use food and cooking to strengthen local communities. Our training kitchen was set up in the disused cafeteria of the East Ham Leisure Centre.
In this initial period, 2011-2014, Food Academy also created, funded and successfully ran the first Jamie Oliver Ministry of Food in London – actively supporting Jamie’s mission to give people of all backgrounds access to basic cooking skills. In 2016, Food Academy won a commission by Tesco, the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK to run fun hands-on cooking and physical activity workshops for mothers and children to encourage the adoption of healthier eating and exercise habits. Food Academy now incorporates support for a more active live in all our programmes. Food Academy has also been accredited to receive pre-diabetes GP referrals for physical activity in the community prescription programme by the Newham Clinical Commissioning Group.
Some of key achievements so far:
- 1300 people have completed our 10 week workshops.
- 300 cooking workshops and cook-alongs, commissioned by companies (Westfield Shopping Centres, Grand Designs Live, East Village Olympic Park, housing associations, West Ham United FC), London Borough Councils, the Newham Clinical Commissioning Group, local GP surgeries or local charities.
- Delivery partner of the Princes Trust
- Partner with Queen Mary University in large public health research projects (“Effects of Mediterranean Diet on Women with Pre-Eclampsia” and “Diets and Lifestyle in Women with Gestational Diabetes”) and run public health placements with Kings College London Dietetics students.
- Tailor made corporate team building workshops for top UK companies such as Tefal and Ogilvy & Matters, Queen Mary University and local organisations such as the local Council, Councillors, Clinical Commissioning Group and local GPs, Newham College, etc.
- Consultancies on food street markets, food festivals, managing college cafeterias, set-up cooking schools, teaching cooking in schools, developing recipe books, etc.