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Cooking Online In Lockdown

Nena Foster wrote a lovely article for the May issue of SE23 which we are happy to share.

As a freelance nutritional chef, my work revolves around working with people; whether it is a cookery class or workshop, working with clients on a 1-2-1 basis or cooking on a set for a cookbook or magazine. My job also revolves around consistent access to food, so it was no surprise, but still came as a shock, that when we ended up in lockdown all my work completely dried up or needed to be delivered without making contact with others. After an initial panic, I decided to take my experience as a cookery teacher, former university lecturer delivering remote teaching sessions and use my limited (but growing) tech skills to move the parts of my business that I could online.

The first week of lockdown was spent trying to make sure my family had what we needed and was spent getting up to speed with transitioning to online class delivery. At times it felt completely impossible; juggling home, kids and attempting to work, but I realised that getting in the kitchen, improving their cooking skills and eating healthily was even more important now.  And, I have always had a knack for making meals from cupboard dregs, but my diverse food background has given me the skills and know how to repurpose, reuse and substitute ingredients and still create something delicious and nutritious.

I now run cookery classes online and live from my kitchen, to yours.  The classes connect people at time when we’re desperately in need of seeing new faces, helps to sharpen your kitchen skills and the benefits of cooking in your own kitchen is important for learning how to use and adapt based on what you have in.  My Kids Classes (1 hour) are a complete homeschool package. We focus on a core nutrition topic, I throw in some maths, we cook a nutritious recipe and at the end there’s one less snack that parents have to worry about prepping! Classes for adults include a Fermented Veg Masterclass (think sauerkraut & kimchi) and I also run bespoke 121 lessons where we jointly create a menu based on the ingredients you have or enjoy. I have also just launched a group cook and dine session for those who want to cook and eat with a group of friends—I even provide a themed playlist and drink pairings. For more detail on my classes head to https://nenafosterfood.com/online-cookery-classes/ and I look forward to cooking with you!

Nena trained as a nutritional chef at the College of Naturopathic Medicine and has worked with a range of inspiring chefs, including Anna Jones, as well she regularly develops recipes for clients such as Rude Health and other health-focused brands. She runs workshops and cookery classes across London, including The Garden Museum in Lambeth. She is a mum of two and lives in South East London.  You can find her on Facebook and Instagram @nena.foster.food where she is also running a recipe video series called ‘What’s in Your Fridge?’ to help followers create meals from odds and ends in your cupboard and fridge.

This article first appeared in the May issue of SE23 magazine.