Why cooking classes?

Refugees and asylum seekers often have compelling stories to tell but, for a range of reasons, don’t have the opportunity to share these experiences, nor to even connect with many people in their new communities in the first place. We believe that teaching plays an important role in providing a voice for this often-marginalised group, and that the intimate space of the kitchen is the best venue for it. One of the most positive outcomes of participating in Free to Feed for refugees and asylum seekers is developing their skills in expressing themselves and their stories, communicating and facilitating small groups..

Are your teachers professional chefs?

Our own grandmothers are the best cooks we know, and their qualification is a lifetime of experience. We apply this philosophy to Free to Feed. What’s important to remember is that we are not teaching our instructors how to cook – they already know how! We recruit those with serious talents in cooking their traditional cuisines. We support them to transfer their existing skills to a new environment and we’re building their capacity to present their unique stories.

Where does the money go?

All of your contributions are reinvested straight back into the running costs of Free to Feed. We are a registered charity and our ABN is 45613017682. Our outgoings include amazing local ingredients, cooking equipment, training our cooks (including with industry professionals), renting and ever-developing our kitchen HQ in Thornbury, running our Now to Launch food incubator and, importantly, paying all of our staff a good wage! .

can we drink alcohol?

Yes, we have a curated selection of local beer, wine and soft drink from our favourite producers and suppliers available for purchase at all classes. Cash or card, either is fine! Unfortunately, BYO is not possible.   


Where do the ingredients come from?

Every week, our in-house Chef selects the freshest ingredients from local markets and specialty stores. Your instructor will let you know in classes where they source less common but essential ingredients for their recipes.

If you’d like your ingredients to be strictly organic, we can source them from CERES and trusted butchers. It will cost extra, so we’ll have a chat about that when we know what you’re after.

What about vegetarians and other dietary requirements?

At Free To Feed we’re all about inclusivity – everyone’s preferences are welcome and catered for. A number of our classes are suitable for vegetarians and can be tailored for vegans. We also hold occasional veggie-based specific events, so sign up to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with what we’re planning.

We’re also keen to accommodate other dietary concerns and can quite easily adapt dish components to be gluten and lactose-free. If you’re dietary concerns are more complex or you have a severe allergy, please get in touch so we can have a discussion beforehand.