I started my internship at the Skip Garden Kitchen at the end of September and spent three of the most inspiring and delicious months of my life as part of the team, writes our latest cafe intern Giorgia Lauri.
A few things you must know about me before we start. I studied Economics and spent three academic years reading about commercial law, marketing strategies and statistics graphics. I never really enjoyed what I was studying, but I was too stubborn (and worried) to quit.
Now, back to the Skip Garden.
I started my internship just after graduation, and moved from a field of numbers and rigid calculus to a place, a few minutes' walk from King’s Cross St. Pancras, where herbs are grown, children are taught how to cook healthy balanced meals from scratch and organic, colourful and seasonal food is served to the hungry community.
As an intern in the kitchen team, my main role was that of assisting our amazing chefs in the daily life of the cafè, starting early in the morning with a fresh batch of scones, the smell of which would have spread around welcoming the rest of the team. The lunch prep varied everyday according to the availability of locally sourced ingredients, but consisted of a soup of the day, a seasonal salad and a special. Food was served to people attending the occasional events, walk-in customers and staff.
The philosophy behind Global Generation is well described by the “I, We and the Planet” concept. I started my internship with no confidence in the kitchen, not knowing the difference between a latte and a flat white (I am sorry, I am Italian, and we order espresso at the bar!), and thinking that growing black kale in the middle of a city was not possible. What I have learnt goes behind a simple recipe, and involves the people behind the organization.
The gardeners walked into the café with a smile on their face, carrying delicious assorted salad leaves and dirty carrots and potatoes. The girls up in the office, who work hard for keeping the different projects going, always up for a piece of leftover cake or a slice of bread. The “builders”, who work restlessly to create and improve the space, trying to maintain the lowest possible environmental impact. The kitchen team, whose witty and smart approach to life and food enlightened my day-to-day work. They showed me what it really means to work in a team and that inspiration is probably the best teacher around. They are the "we", and make you feel part of it, too. They believe that the community deserves a place where it is possible to reconnect with yourself and the planet, and work to make it happen.
As a kitchen intern you spend most of your time covered in flour (although you wear an apron, be prepared to go home with dirty bits all over your clothes!), but you are welcomed to take part and help in any project the organisation is involved in. The “Friday Night Out” sessions, my very own favorites, take place in the evening for children from the nearby area who come to the Skip Garden for cooking classes. “Lunch and Learning” themed lessons, with small classes from a nearby school, that happen on Wednesdays and usually end with poems read out loud (and let me tell you, those children are smart). Occasional supper clubs, during which the garden is transformed into a heaven of lights and the vibes are electrical.
My kind of food is meant to be shared: plentiful, colourful, vegetable-driven and delicious. And that’s what the Skip Garden Kitchen is about. Metaphorically and otherwise.