We talk to Luke Brown about Foscafe. by Elizabeth Clough

We are eagerly anticipating the launch of a new food project at Red Door. We talk to Luke Brown, the man behind it, to find out what’s in store……

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Tell us about your project?

FOS (Food On Sunday) is a dry store and fresh produce cafe that will be open on the last Sunday of the month at Red Door. The idea behind FOS is that while East Ham has some great places for food and produce, in terms of sourcing locally grown produce, particularly organic produce, this can be a bit trickier. Essex is just up the road and there are a few organic farms in East London not so very far from East Ham. Hopefully, FOS will be a place where you will be able to get the produce from these places and, should you want to, stop for a coffee, something to eat and a chat as well.  

Alongside this we will also be providing a few practical goods for the store cupboard / larder and home that you can top up on each month and use in your cooking every day.

What role do you feel food plays in our personal lives and our communities?

The most important thing, personally, is that it’s not a competition. I watched an episode of Master Chef the other day and, whilst it’s great as a TV programme, it’s emphasis on cooking as some kind of mystical art form is frustrating to me. Everyone can cook, and nothing brings more joy than a dish you’ve made yourself, shared with the people you love and live with. Food should be inclusive and reciprocal in what it gives. Supermarkets offer short cuts with ready meals or pre-packaged goods but it’s a false economy and I don’t think it actually saves you any time or money. A soup can take twenty minutes to make, will taste better than anything you can buy, will cost you very little and last you a few dinners.

In terms of community, food should be at the centre of it. Of course, it has always been like this. I was reading John Marriott’s History of East London. There’s a bit in it about recent research on food culture in East London in the late 19th century and how this research challenges the widely held beliefs that families of the labouring poor were malnourished. In fact, food was of great importance, families were knowledgeable about food and resourceful in providing wholesome, regular and nourishing meals, from which they derived a sense of respect and pride within their own homes and the wider community. 

It was vital to survival and you’re more likely to go round someone’s house if there’s a tasty meal in it.

Tell us about one dish you will be serving at Red Door….

For Sunday we’ll be getting our fresh produce from a community farm in Dagenham, so I’m expecting they’ll still have plenty of courgettes. If they do I’ll be doing Kolokithokeftedes. It’s a dish from Crete. Courgette, feta cheese and mint fritters served with home made tzatziki. You’re supposed to pan fry them, but when I tried that I ended up with a pretty unmanageable mess. I’ll bake them instead, the healthier option, or I might deep-fat fry them, not as healthy but very tasty and you’re not going to have them every day.

Foscafe will be open Sunday 30th September from 12 - 6pm and then every last Sunday of the month.

For regular updates follow @foscafe on Instagram.

Regrettably, we will no longer be opening every Saturday for our pop up cafe..... by Elizabeth Clough

 

Both Sophie and I have thought this through carefully, and unfortunately due to our already very busy work lives and a quite few other factors which are logistically difficult to resolve, we have agreed to stop opening on such a regular basis.

HOWEVER ALL IS NOT LOST! We will continue to work together to combine yummy food and events at Red Door. Just not EVERY Saturday. So please keep an eye on our website/facebook/instagram or join our mailing list here to stay updated on what's going on. We are planning some lovely stuff for the summer months.

ALSO if you are missing Sophie's Bread and would like to enquire about her baking ventures please email sophiefranceshill@gmail.com

Thank you for all your custom, support and cafe laughs. We will miss it.  

 

Desk Space available at Red Door Studios. by Elizabeth Clough

We have a good little desk space up for grabs, it is in our upstairs studio and would be shared with 2 painters and a mosaic artist. All of whom are there only part time. The space is clean (they aren't messy painters) and is a lovely peaceful space to work. We have a kitchen with microwave cooker/kettle etc and wifi, and you would be welcome to use the courtyard and public space too when they aren't in use. The space is for use within working hours 9am - 7pm (ish) and is very affordable.

If you are interested or would like any more information please get in touch using our form here

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Art Balaayo..... by Elizabeth Clough

Zeinab Saleh is an artist, she is interested in the juxtaposition between western and eastern cultures in an increasingly globalised society. Particularly as a Muslim woman living in the west. Her work explores these themes. She is the curator of our upcoming exhibition Art Balaayo. A show that brings together the work of 7 female Somali artists. We meet and discuss what she hopes for and fears, why making art is important, and she tells me more about the motivations behind Art Balaayo:

I’ve met some amazing Somali artists in the past year who have inspired and influenced my work. I’ve been following the Art Balaayo podcast for a while which is a Somali pioneered podcast based in the UAE. The women in the podcast speak about contemporary issues and their own experiences as Somali diaspora living in the UAE as well as Canada and the US.
Similarly, to the podcast I wanted to create a space for us, by us (shout out to Solange) so that we connect and discuss our work together, in real life. Cloud communities are amazing but human interaction is also important and I want there to be more physical spaces for us to connect.
 Underground

Underground

The current political state is frightening for many groups of people especially Muslims, but also people of colour, the LGBT community and women. Art is a great tool to speak about injustices and issues around the world in a way that people can understand and relate to. It opens discussions about unspoken narratives and allows us to explore and challenge ideas.
I fear greed. Injustices around the world and situations in the global south not improving in regard to environmental and social justice. The exploitation of Somalia due to our unstable government leading to illegal overfishing in Somalia and the pollution of our waters by European corporations.
 Illumination

Illumination

I see art-making as necessary, vital and something that comes naturally to me, it brings me joy. Making art is also self-expression and therapy.
 We only talk in memes

We only talk in memes

Zeinab is also part of 'Variant Space' a collective of female Muslim artists. The collective strives to shatter stereotypes, providing a new and refreshing arena for discourse on the Muslim woman. It acts as a platform from which female Muslims can speak about their experiences through their art and reclaim control over their image.

I am excited about Art Balaayo. To open, challenge and explore is to converse and debate, to make room for experimentation and freedom, to search for truths and to speak out loud. using art as a language to break down barriers instead of one that enables an elite to create them.

Art Balaayo opens on Friday 5th May at Red Door Studios. See our whats on page for opening times, launch details and information.

 

@_zeinabsaleh

www.variantspace.com

artbalaayo podcast

Hello! by Elizabeth Clough

Our virtual conversations, inspirations and interests from both in and out of the studio. More about the people we work with through interviews, photos, artwork and articles, plus additional news on our projects, present and future.

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