Dr Rupy is the NHS General Practitioner behind 'The Doctor's Kitchen'. He creates delicious recipes and brings attention to the amazing clinical research behind the ingredients. He is inspiring patients to appreciate the beauty of food and the medicinal effects of eating well on his Youtube Channel as well as his popular Instagram page, Facebook and Blog. In his role as clinical adviser to the Royal College of GP's, he has big aspirations to bring the concept of 'Culinary Medicine' to the profession globally. 'Plates over pills' is his motto - a delicious healthy diet is the first step in disease prevention and treatment.
"For disease prevention and reversing existing diseases we need to give patients a foundation in cookery. If tomorrow I was suddenly in charge of the NHS I’d make sure all GP surgeries could refer patients to community cookery classes like what Made In Hackney provide. I totally support their approach. They’re putting fruit and vegetables center stage which, after all, is what people need to eat more of but lack the inspiration. Their classes give people new ideas and skills – they’re just great."
Rachel de Thample has worked in the kitchens of Marco Pierre White, Heston Blumenthal and Peter Gordon. She is the author of Less Meat, More Veg (Kyle Books) and FIVE (Ebury), and has served as Commissioning Editor of Waitrose Food Illustrated and Head of Food for the pioneering organic box scheme Abel & Cole. She lives in Crystal Palace, London, where she has helped set up numerous local food initiatives, including the award-winning Crystal Palace Food Market and the Edible Garden. Rachel is currently running preserving courses at River Cottage in Devon, runs a monthly Market Table pop-up dinners and writes for The Simple Things and Locavore magazines.
"Made In Hackney’s vision, mission and aim is completely in tune with mine. Their approach is down to earth and focused on accessibility of good, nutritional food that’s good for people and planet. I’ve been watching their progress from the other side of London since they started and are absolutely thrilled to be working with them. What makes Made In Hackney so unique is their focus on community, affordability and accessibility to good food - also their uncompromising commitment to organic and seasonal foods. When I’ve talked to people who’ve been on one of their courses they are not only inspired, but they’re empowered to make changes in their diet. People walk away with something that has a positive effect on their health. They act on what they’ve learned and share it with the wider community."
Joel Bravette aka Jay Brave is a man on a mission. Since going vegan in 2016, Jay has taken activism and outreach in a fresh direction, remixing it for a younger, urban, tech-savvier audience. Having creative collaborations with Vevolution, Votch and the Humane League under his belt already, Jay is taking the vegan scene by storm with his thoughtful monologues, provocative spoken word and catchy parodies.
Jay has an affinity for youth work and has worked with schools, community groups and charities to support youth development. His tactile and empathetic techniques of engagement have earned plaudits from both facilitators and students alike. He says:
"We cannot build the house of the future with the architects of the past. We need to elicit a paradigm shift that starts with empowering our young people."
Jay Brave's Vegan Shut Up pays homage to grime superstar Stormzy's smash hit but with a distinct vegan twist. The accompanying visual progresses the vegan message with a colourful and humorous pastiche of London's vibrant vegan spots as well as some other familiar people and places.
Roxy & Ben launched So Vegan with the mission to revolutionise the way we all think about vegan food. It's bland, boring and complicated, they were told. But as recently turned vegans, they knew vegan food could be incredibly fun, super simple and packed full of flavour, and they wanted to share their vision with as many people as they could. There was nothing like So Vegan at the time, so the couple took it upon themselves to debunk the all-too common myths about their newfound passion in life: plant-powered food. So Vegan now has over a million devoted followers and their recipes reach tens of millions of people every month all over the world. To this day, Roxy & Ben continue to develop, film and edit their delicious new plant-based recipes from their cosy flat in Camberwell, south London. Their debut cookbook, So Vegan in 5, will be available at the end of 2018.
Community-based initiatives like Made In Hackney are so important because they make cooking from scratch accessible to everyone, from all walks of life. Eating great-tasting and home-cooked vegan food is something that we are very passionate about and it's exciting to see the team at Made In Hackney bringing people together in an informative yet fun and approachable way.
Andi Oliver is an award-winning TV Chef and Broadcaster who enjoys a rich and varied career, with food and music being at the forefront throughout.
Andi was a judge on Great British Menu for four series, but left her seat at the judging table to present the show’s festive special in December 2020. Now, in her second year as host, Andi is on hand to encourage and support the chefs through the heat of the kitchen.
Having previously hosted her own cookery show on BBC Two, Neneh & Andi Dish It Up, and as a regular on BBC's Saturday Kitchen Andi is certainly no stranger to our screens.
On air Andi is a regular contributor to The Kitchen Cabinet on BBC Radio 4 alongside Jay Rayner as well as a contributor to Radio 4’s Award winning The Food Programme. In 2018 she followed in the footsteps of Yotam Ottolenghi & Giorgio Locatelli and was appointed Head judge alongside Sheila Dillon for the prestigious BBC Food & Farming awards.
Andi is excited to join Made In Hackney as ambassador and is deeply inspired by the organisation's work and commitment to Hackney.
Dr Nitu Bajekal is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist for 20 years on the NHS with over 35 years of clinical experience in women’s health. She is also one of the first US board-certified Lifestyle Medicine Physicians in the UK.
Dr Bajekal is the founder of Women for Women's Health, a voluntary service set up in 2014 to educate and empower women to make dietary and lifestyle choices to help improve their own and their families’ health. Through health information leaflets on her website, lectures and workshops, she and her team provide reliable up-to-date women’s health and lifestyle information for the general public, doctors, workplaces and schools, both in the UK and abroad. She covers a wide range of important topics such as painful periods, PCOS, contraception, menopause and endometriosis. Young people especially are at the right stage where making small positive changes can have a tremendous impact on their current and future health.
Dr Bajekal is passionate about educating the public and doctors about women’s health, plant based nutrition and lifestyle medicine, as she firmly believes these go hand in hand.
"Made In Hackney is a true embodiment of what social justice should look like. Without access to healthy affordable food, it is not possible for an individual or a society to make progress. Made In Hackney and its team have risen wonderfully to the challenge of the current health crisis that is a problem the world over. Through its easily accessible community classes and kitchen, Made in Hackney teaches, and trains disadvantaged sections of the community how to eat joyfully, using local sustainable produce. By educating children and adults about the numerous benefits of eating a plant-based diet, not just for their own health but also for the health of their community and that of the planet, social awareness increases, and everyone benefits. What could be more rewarding, and I am delighted and honoured to be an ambassador for such a worthy cause."