Open Kitchens | Online Cookalongs 2020

We are pleased to announce our new Online learner-led ‘cookalong’ project, Open Kitchens Generously supported by Forever Manchester.

Six English language learners and expert home cooks have put themselves forward to challenge their English language communication skills… by teaching you how to cook from the comfort of your own home!

Read more about our project in a recent article by Manchester Confidential

Interested in joining one of our cookalong classes, meeting new people and learning something new?


All classes are from 7pm – 9pm. 

Wednesday 4th November | Rawia’s sweet cheese filled pastry with stove top coffee

SOLD OUT Watch LIVESTREAM here for ingredients and method

Thursday 19th November | Paramita’s crispy spiced potato pastries with masala tea

SOLD OUT Watch on LIVESTREAM HERE for ingredients and method

Wednesday 2nd December | Liza’s steamed chilli beef dumplings with spicy tomato sauce

SOLD OUT Watch on LIVESTREAM HERE for ingredients and method

Wednesday 16th December | Rasha’s stuffed chicken roll with aubergine salad

SOLD OUT Watch on LIVESTREAM HERE for ingredients and method

Wednesday 13th January | Khadidja’s lamb & dried fruit stew with fresh rocket salad

SOLD OUT Watch on LIVESTREAM HERE for ingredients and method

Wednesday 27th January | Asmahan’s soft pistachio cheese rolls with sweet milk pudding

SOLD OUT Watch on LIVESTREAM HERE for ingredients and method.

PROJECT BACKGROUND | During the COVID19 pandemic of 2020 and subsequent lockdown, we have had to keep ourselves and loved ones safe and healthy by staying at home. This has had significant changes for the education industry, and for Heart & Parcel provision to develop free, meaningful English language skills through cooking in an inclusive and relaxed environment for women who have recently arrived in the UK. We were concerned we would let down our long term users and also not be able to provide for new users who require ESOL provision. 

As a result, we, like many others Education providers had to find creative and innovative ways of continuing our provision online. 

One of these immediate solutions was to livestream free Cooking & English classes from our youtube channel, each week cooking a recipe from our Heart & Parcel cookbook (the recipes which were created and given to us by our learners), giving homework and then providing zoom classes that learners could join to practise their communication skills with their classmates and volunteers. 

These were incredibly successful and well received, however for us it was more than online English lessons; we wished to keep forging toward our original values of empowerment and community through learning, that is, our aims for learner-led sessions, and the positive effects of our work extending beyond the classroom and into our communities through our public facing events and inclusive work with volunteers, fostering social networks in the neighbourhoods and spaces where the women we work with reside. 

Over this Autumn, Heart & Parcel learners will deliver and teach their own ‘cookalong’ – a cooking class where members of the public will be able to join online to make delicious homecooked meals. The cookalong involves cooking a dish chosen by each of our learners from start to finish, exploring new flavours, cooking techniques, ingredients, stories and will no doubt be an evening of fun, sharing and learning. 

Our learners are currently attending weekly online training sessions mastering their digital literacy, presentation and communication skills, and learning how to demonstrate their existing cooking and knowledge to a wider audience – all through the medium of English.

Through this, we aim to support our learners to build confidence, reduce isolation and improve everyday English and digital literacy skills. At the same time we hope to develop stronger effective connections across communities through the sharing of food and informed knowledge often hidden and invisible in today’s society, breaking down those common misconceptions around migration, food, cooking and identity.

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