Soane’s Kitchen in Walpole Park cooked up a storm for local diners earlier this month with a helping hand from young people involved with the charity Switchback.
The burgeoning chefs and caterers are being given a fresh start thanks to the Switchback programme, which creates the opportunity to give young prison leavers the invaluable experience they need to create a positive future for themselves.
They have been working in partnership with Social Pantry, which runs Soane’s Kitchen and together they put on a hugely successful supper club for local restaurant-goers.
The evening consisted of a three-course meal cooked and catered for by the young people involved with Switchback – laying on the like of pan-seared cod, nettle pesto and buttermilk cheesecake.
Alex Head, Social Pantry founder and CEO was happy to get involved with Switchback, explaining that its work sits closely with the ethos of her company. She said: “I was expelled from school twice so I always think – if I got another chance then why shouldn’t others?”
“What makes Social Pantry really unique is 10% of our workforce is ex-offenders. For me as an employer what’s really important is that everyone who is employed here is supported – whether they are an ex-offender or not.
“We ensure that those involved with the project are given the support they need and allocated a mentor to help them with their role.”
Alice Dawnay, Founder and CEO at Switchback added: “We’re thrilled that Soane’s Kitchen has supported Switchback with this very special supper club. As an award-winning charity helping young Londoners to find a way out of the justice system and build a stable, rewarding life they can be proud of, Switchback is built on partnerships.
“This collaborative evening was not only a chance to eat amazing food in the wonderful walled garden of Pitzhanger Manor, but is also a fantastic opportunity for the talented young men we work with to show off their skills in the kitchen.
“Soane’s Kitchen supports Switchback by providing work experience for our trainees as part of our wider programme of challenge and encouragement to take control and make profound, lasting change.”
Soane’s Kitchen is located in Ealing’s Walpole Park within Pitzhanger Manor’s original walled kitchen garden. It serves seasonal dishes from lunch and brunch menus alongside cocktails and a full bar.
The restaurant has a reputation for fresh, local ingredients and an environmentally-friendly outlook.
Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery has recently reopened to the public marking the successful completion of a £12 million conservation and restoration project led by Ealing Council.
Pitzhanger Manor itself is the Grade I listed home of visionary British architect Sir John Soane and the restoration has been completed with his original vision for the building in mind. The Gallery’s inaugural exhibition sees Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor presenting a series of sculptures, some previously unseen in Britain.
- Soane’s Kitchen is located at Pitzhanger Manor, Walpole Park, Ealing, London, W5 5EQ
- Opening times are as follows: Monday 11am – 4pm (for Lunch), Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 5.30pm (for Lunch 11am – 4pm, coffee takeaways 10am – 11am), Saturday and Sunday 09.30am – 16:00 (Brunch)
- Soane’s Kitchen is also opening for evening dinner service starting 1 June 2019, Thursday – Saturday 10am – 9pm (the garden is open from midday).