A new series of free cookery courses has been launched in Merseyside to help men find a safe space to talk about their mental wellbeing while also improving their culinary skills. Chef Adam Franklin, owner of The Horse & Jockey pub in Melling, will be leading courses for the Men Vs. Food project following a series of successful free taster workshops organised by Livv Housing Group and Alchemic Kitchen.
The Men vs Food project is designed to create a safe space specifically for men (and those who identify as male), teaching them to cook but also providing a supportive setting to discuss mental health and other concerns that they might not feel comfortable expressing in a mixed environment. A total of 120 Livv Housing Group customers enjoyed the four taster workshops, which featured cookery demonstrations and advice on food; they also received 350 kgs of free fresh fruit and vegetables and recipes to take home.
Amanda Newton, Executive Director of Customer Insight at Livv Housing Group, said: “Good mental health and wellbeing, like the enjoyment of good food, is something we should all be able to share. The Men Vs. Food project provides opportunities for men to get together and talk, creating effective pathways to better health, coupled with the chance to learn new cooking skills or share their existing skills with others. It has been great to bring the Men Vs. Food project into the heart of our communities. We have enjoyed the conversations we have had with our customers and can’t wait to see what happens next!”
The Men Vs. Food courses will be held at The Horse & Jockey – the first one is underway, and the next course will take place November 15 to December 6.
The courses include a communal sit-down meal before moving on to a cooking demonstration. They follow Adam’s Fed-Up model, which teaches people how to make fresh meals, allowing them to be able to cook and provide for themselves at the end of the course.
Adam Franklin, chef and owner of The Horse & Jockey, said: “The dishes that the men will be cooking will be a combination of gold-plated recipes that everybody needs in their toolkit, like a good Scouse, and economic but tasty recipes like a veg-packed 50p soup. We will also be showing them how to make the most of modest ingredients with an overnight oat pudding recipe and a tasty Cowboy Stew. The course places real emphasis on delicious, low-maintenance, budget-friendly meals that can be replicated and tweaked by the men at home.”
Attendees at the courses will benefit from:
Free lunch provided at each session
Food and recipes to take home
Free travel provided to and from the venue
A recognised and accredited certificate of completion
A slow cooker to take home and keep
A hamper of fresh and store food to create meals for after course completion
Top up Fuel Voucher (PayPoint or Post Office)
Ongoing support from our advisory teams
Opportunities to further engage with Alchemic Kitchen through volunteering
Alchemic Kitchen’s Development Chef Keenan Humble will also be on hand and all participants will leave with an accredited qualification to go with the practical cooking, budgeting, meal planning and batch buying/cooking skills that are covered in the course. Chef Keenan Humble said: “We believe that food is a fantastic vehicle to improve mental wellbeing and build lasting relationships with others, which is a bonus on top of the practical skills that the men will be able to take away from the course.”
For more information and to register for the cookery course, contact Paul on 07810 053 647 or Kathryn on 07342 054 861.