COOKING UP A STORM
Ian Duff combines selling The Big Issue with running a catering social enterprise.
He says it’s ‘all about giving back’…
It’s been a long year for me with some highs and lows: the high was starting my social enterprise, Duff Cooks, and the low was the death of my father. I started Duff Cook’s as a means to give something back. It is a social enterprise to help the homeless and long-term unemployed learn to cook and how to eat well. I offer an at-home catering service and monies earned through this help me to teach people to cook.
So far, I have run several drop-in sessions with the help of DHI Project, which have proved popular, but I want to expand to reach more people. I have catered for a handful of people who have enjoyed the experience: I come along to your house and I cook in your kitchen. I serve the meal and even do all the washing up for no charge. So that’s how simple it is, there are no charges until you finish your meal and unlike other catering firms, I cut the costs by using your kitchen plates and cutlery. In September, Duff Cooks hosted a hen party at a townhouse in Bath. On the menu was: tarragon chicken, hay-baked lamb rack, cod with pork belly.
Since Duff Cooks is a social enterprise, I asked a fellow vendor, Istvan, who has worked as a chef, to help with the prep and service for the evening, as he is keen to get back to working in the catering industry. The event was a great success, judging from the response the client sent me. This is what Duff Cooks is all about. We help people cook and eat well and also to get them back into the workplace. Istvan is a larger-than-life character. He is a hard worker and can take direction, which are both vital qualities for successful service. I am sure I’ll use him again. Thanks go to Istvan.