Last night I attended the launch of The Social Diner – Supper Club at Brigade Bar and Bistro in London Bridge. This is no ordinary restaurant though. As Brigade is a social enterprise which helps homeless individuals to develop the skills and motivation to find employment in hospitality. The apprentice chefs that work in this kitchen are trained to be work ready and after graduating go on to find employment in their own right. The Supper Club is no ordinary supper club either. For the launch of The Social Diner – Supper Club at Brigade Bar and Bistro their guest chef was Two Michelin Star celebrity Chef Michael Roux Jr. This was a fantastic opportunity for the apprentice chefs of Brigade to be working alongside and learning from such a culinary legend. What’s more all that attended the evening were contributing to provide the training of these chefs.
How was Brigade set up?
Brigade is part of the Beyond Food Community Interest Company (CIC) which was founded by hospitality superhero Simon Boyle. Beyond Food runs a series of training programs which culminate in 6 month apprenticeships in the Brigade kitchen followed by 7 months in another professional kitchen in London. At the end of 13 months their apprentices attain a Level 2 cheffing qualification and are helped to find long term employment in hospitality.
Simon is also the author of ‘How to Find a Job and Keep It’ which supports people in their first steps in to employment. This book is given to vulnerable individuals to assist them in finding their next job with tips on budgeting, CV writing and interview skills. Their #PutAFiverToWork campaign means when you buy the book through donating £5 you will be helping an individual receive this vital information. At the end of June all the books will be distributed to those in need.
Simon Boyle is truly inspirational and has helped thousands of individuals start a career in hospitality. By opening his doors to those less fortunate he has built a fantastic social enterprise which is going from strength to strength. Although these initiatives can only be upheld by the continued support of his paying customers, like you and I.
I can highly recommend attending the Social Diner – Supper Club. These are planned to be run every six weeks with a guest chef working alongside the Brigade apprentices. If you can’t wait for the next event then just pop along and have a drink or bite to eat when you are next in the area. Remember every time you pay your bill you are transforming an individual’s life.