Video: East Village neighbourhood group launches with cookery class

Helen Holman and Recorder reporter Mark Shales enjoy a cooking class organised by Share East.

Helen Holman and Recorder reporter Mark Shales enjoy a cooking class organised by Share East. - Credit: Archant

It’s a well-known fact of life that any event is improved by adding food.

Dish of the day: Brazilian fish stew.

Dish of the day: Brazilian fish stew. - Credit: Archant

Christmas, weddings, a trip to the cinema – even business meetings aren’t as fruitful on empty stomachs.

Naturally then, the best way to kick-start a new timeshare volunteering programme in the East Village would be with a cooking class.

Share East, a network of neighbours, launched last month in a bid to bring residents together through sharing each others talents.

As part of the scheme, private chef and East Village resident, Gianne Fanti, 42, taught a group of neighbours how to make a Brazilian fish stew and sweet potato brownies, so I went along to join in the fun.

Helen Holman with chef and East Village resident Gianne Fanti.

Helen Holman with chef and East Village resident Gianne Fanti. - Credit: Archant

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Working through the recipe as a step-by-step class in one of Chobham Academy’s food technology classrooms, even those as gastronomically challenged as myself finished the evening with a delicious and healthy meal.

Share East connector Yvonne Kumi, 41, from Community Links was delighted to see the community engagement in action.

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“It was great to get everyone together and the food was lovely,” she said afterwards.

“The concept of Share East has been in development for about a year so it’s brilliant to have things off the ground now.

Yvonne Kumi from Share East.

Yvonne Kumi from Share East. - Credit: Archant

“We wanted to create something that would really bring the community together and make a difference to the neighbourhoods where they live.

“It’s a really genuine example of the Olympic legacy in action.”

Open to anyone aged 18 and over in and around the East Village, Stratford and Hackney Wick, Share East works in partnership with Echo – a new spin on business that trades in time and skills, not pounds and pence.

But despite the slight challenges of the group – a certain Recorder reporter forgot to turn the oven on to cook his brownies – Gianne thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“It was amazing and a great way of promoting the skills of other people and getting the community involved in a lovely environment,” she said.

“I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next one.”

With thousands of people now living in the flats that once hosted Olympic athletes, current listings offer everything from guitar lessons and bespoke candle making to life coaching and Swedish massages.

Project manager Dolunay Erzurum, 35, was among those joining in with scheme for the first time.

“It was a really fun evening, and the food was delicious,” she said.

“I’ve lived in the East Village since September but haven’t really met anyone yet.

“Events like these provide a perfect opportunity to do so.”

Visit for more information, to advertise your skills or join in with upcoming sessions.

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