Eating Better

Batch Cook Club: Bringing joy to mealtimes

By Laurie Roche

The latest Bristol Good Food 2030 blog is from Laurie Roche of Batch Cook Club. Find out how to get involved!

“What’s for dinner?” three seemingly innocuous words that would leave me in despair daily, became the inspiration for setting up our community interest company, Batch Cook Club.  

Back in 2016, I became a first-time mum juggling (and struggling!) with the challenges of parenthood. Exhausted and without a support network, cooking felt like an impossible task – which, as a self-confessed foodie, was pretty miserable. I could have really benefited from the warm embrace of good, delicious food and a friendly social circle… and so the idea for Batch Cook Club was born. 

With the encouragement and expertise of nutritional therapist (and life-long friend) Seema Vekaria, we partnered up to launch Batch Cook Club in 2023 and have since hosted over 36 classes and events in South Bristol. 

More than just a cooking class 

Our classes are more than just a cooking class – our sessions are fun and social with a friendly emphasis on nutrition. Participants learn to batch-cook and take home several portions of food to help relieve the midweek meal-time despair and inspire healthy food choices. We also serve a delicious meal for the group to enjoy – a treat for those who are often the ones cooking and serving at home! 

We recognise that people fall out of love with cooking for many reasons; lack of knowledge, confidence, money and/or time, to name a few – and through each class we run, we learn more about the challenges people face and how beneficial our sessions are – particularly during the cost of living crisis.  

“ …it’s given me more thought about what I’m cooking and it’s been really good for my wellbeing… I come and do something for me that I can take home for my family so I think it would be a great idea to make it more of an on-going thing for the community… and I’ve got to meet other people that live in my area!” said a participant from our Learn to Batch Cook four-week course, St Anne’s House, Brislington. 

With funding from Feeding Bristol CIO, Jewsons and Quartet Community Foundation, we’ve been able to offer funded cooking classes (in Redcliff, Hartcliffe and Withywood and Brislington) for those who would otherwise be unable to attend. We’ve also partnered with Bricks to run classes and host pay-as-you-can community meals (inspired by our friends at The Long Table in Stroud) at St Anne’s House, Brislington – a project we hope to re-launch later this year. Sign up to our newsletter or follow us on Instagram to be the first to know! 

How can you help? 

We welcome new partners to help fund and deliver the benefits of batch cooking to even more households in Bristol. Whether it’s funding a course, coming to a class or commissioning a private event, as a non-profit, you’d be supporting our mission to bring joy back to the kitchen and help people to:  

  • prepare nutritionally balanced meals
  • learn how to batch cook
  • build community
  • and bring joy back to mealtimes. 

Why not sign up to our next class to make umami-packed savoury brownies and a sugar free chocolate sesame brittle? Open to everyone, join us at Square Food Foundation’s fabulous teaching kitchen on Thursday 18 July, 6-8pm and get snack-ready before the schools break up. Book via our website – I promise it will be delicious.  

Join the conversation

So, what change do you want to see happen that will transform food in Bristol by 2030? Do you already have an idea for how Bristol can make this happen? Join the conversation now.

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