Members Stories: You Can Cook and You Can Grow

cooking class
You can Cook school class

YOU CAN COOK delivers multi-cultural cookery classes, demonstrations and workshops on nutrition and food related issues all over Scotland encouraging and empowering local communities to make informed choices about food and health. We enable participants to engage in enjoyable, social and educational activity through learning basic techniques and skills in cookery?while raising food and health awareness.  

Our off-shoot YOU CAN GROW supports small organisation, community groups and schools to plan, build, manage and run an edible garden in their own local area. YOU CAN GROW complements YOU CAN COOK by helping individuals and families grow their own food in their garden patch, spare ground or allotments. 
 
You Can Cook was setup as a sustainable business and social enterprise in 2007 by Bosco Santimano. The organisation was carefully crafted to be an innovative, sustainable and inspiring social enterprise developing sustainable business practices and policies for the business, staff and clients.  

All staff work mainly from home helping reduce and keep our carbon footprint to the minimum. Business is done on the phone, email or videocalls with travel only to deliver our services. 
 
Since our inception in 2007 we have achieved a lot including: being the first social enterprise to feature on the BBC 2 Landward (2010); being chosen by Healthy Working Lives (NHS) as a case study for the Bronze award; being the first social enterprise to be accredited as a Living Wage Employer in the Borders. We were instrumental in setting up Scotland’s first “Organic Growing Training Centre” where school pupils and the local community benefited from learning about and growing their own food. 
 
In addition, we have our very own accredited course (Energised Lunches) which was designed and developed with Abertay University in 2012 and we were the first social enterprise to published a book for growers in 2019.  Also, in 2019 we won a Scottish Enterprise Award for “Leading Providers of Multi-Cultural Cookery Workshops and in 2021 won the Prestige Awards Scotland “Cooking Experience Provider of the Year 2020/21”.
 
At all our cookery sessions we educate participants to use locally grown produce and raise awareness about food miles and the impact of it on the local economy and globally. 

Where possible we use local produce to set an example and promote the concept of seasonal food to all our clients. Some of our staff use produce that they grow in their own gardens or allotments. 

We encourage participants to buy fresh produce with no packaging as this often is cheaper than fancy packaging. Where we have to use disposable plates or containers, they are always compostable however wherever possible we use crockery available at the venue hosting the event to reduce compostable materials too. By supporting our clients in making these small changes we as an organisation help promote sustainable practices in the community. 
 
One of our popular classes is on leftovers! We provide clients with tips and ideas how to reuse any food leftovers and turning them into mouth-watering new dishes. This helps participants not only save money but also stops food waste from going into landfills.  
 
We lead by example and all the information and expertise has come from us having experienced food and health issues with family and friends and is a source of motivation for all at You Can Cook. 
 
We believe in practicing what we preach and we hope other organisations are inspired by our working ethos, community and environmentally friendly practices to be the change in the world. 

You Can Cook logo

You Can Cook

School Brae,
Peebles,
EH45 8AT

0845 224 0896
https://www.youcancook.org.uk

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