A place at the table: two inspiring UK food projects

From dumplings with a distinctly global flavour, to plant-based dishes that are ‘definitely not boring’, we zoom in on two UK projects that connect people using food

Heart & Parcel

Manchester-based Heart & Parcel connects women from migrant communities through making dumplings, helping improve their English at the same time. It was set up by friends Karolina Koscien and Clare Courtney: Koscien grew up in Poland with a pierogi-making expert mother, while Courtney spent her childhood in Hong Kong surrounded by dim sum. “Dumplings appear in almost every culture but differ in shape and filling,” says Koscien.

“The process of making them requires teamwork, a long period of time and many conversations in between. The fillings inside dumplings represent the hidden resources and skills of women from migrant communities living here in Britain today.”

Image: Kieran Hanson

Up Beet

“We love to cook. We love to eat delicious food too. And we don’t think eating plant-based food should be boring,” say the team at Up Beet, a vegan food business based in Brighton. They run pop-up supper clubs, give cooking lessons and cater at events including weddings and birthdays as well as teaming up with charities like Help Refugees, and FareShare Sussex.

Their Voyage of Discovery nights take guests on dining adventures with each menu centred on food from a particular part of the world, from warming south-east Asian curries to rustic Tuscan dishes. And Up Beet’s Spinning Plates events match good music with great vegan food: guests are invited to submit song requests to accompany the meal.

Image: Shiv Meaker

Read more: Eating with strangers: bringing people together through food
Read more: Brewing good: three beer-for-good projects



This article is featured in issue 92 of Positive News magazine. Subscribe now to get the magazine delivered to your door each quarter.