The Plant-Based Community Cookery School
Chair of Trustees
Clare has spent the last 17 years building her career within the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods industry, the vast majority of which being at one of the worlds largest and most successful FMCG companies, Unilever. Over this time, Clare gained significant expertise across a range of key business functions, from Customer Development and Category Management through to Brand Development and all facets of Marketing, as well as becoming a Chartered Global Management Accountant.
Spending much of her career working with Food brands, this has complemented her own personal passion for good food and the role it plays in supporting health and well-being. Leading also to a keen interest in understanding the consumer insights behind the food choices people make and the importance of the rise in plant based eating.
Clare’s primary focus is now on supporting purpose driven businesses and brands to unlock their full potential by working as a freelance Brand and Marketing consultant. She also works as an Associate of Hoxby; a global freelance community that brings together the collective brainpower and diverse insights of creative experts and professional services, creating tailored teams to solve clients’ business challenges.
Sarah is a governance specialist, currently focussed on central banking and financial services.
After university, Sarah’s career started in analytical chemistry working in pharmaceutical research and then chemical regulation. Four years later she put her analytical skills to use in financial regulation, specialising in financial crime and then governance. Sarah works for the Bank of England and acts as an external expert on governance for the International Monetary Fund.
Sarah is also a trained chef with a passion for a sustainable field to fork approach to food and food education. Sarah particularly enjoys teach cooking skills to children.
Irina is a real estate investment professional specialising in acquisition, due diligence, bank financing and execution as well as overall asset management including finance and process streamlining. She has been with Queensway Group for over 12 years and grew strong relationship with the JV partners Wellcome Trust, developing and operating 10 hotels under the Point A Hotel brand, followed by the JV interest transfer to Tristan Capital Partners; and Clearbell in the Sloane Club Private Members club venture.
Previously Irina focused on real estate structured finance at Banca Imi investment bank following the completion of SDA Bocconi MBA. She started her career as Senior Analyst at Hilton Hotels Corporation with strong foundation in excel financial modelling after graduating Cum Laude in economics and accounting from University of California Los Angeles.
Growing up in California she has always been food and health conscious. Outside of work she is passionate about yoga, travel, photography and nutritious meals for the family.
Tara Sukumar is originally from Toronto and a proud resident of Hackney. Tara started her career as a management consultant working in the Middle East, North and South Africa. After 4 years, she decided to pursue her MBA and make a career shift into the tech industry. She has been with BT for four years and set up the ‘Internet of Things’ Strategic Programme within BT Global Services. She is one of the key IoT Thinkers in BT Group, responsible for proposition development and strategic partnerships.
Tara stays connected her friends all over the world, and serves as Alumni Class Secretary for her MBA class at Dartmouth. An avid music lover, she dabbles in techno as an amateur DJ. With a passion for charitable giving, she has raised over £4000, cycling from London to Paris and Amsterdam, respectively.
Tara’s passion is sustainable living and she hopes to learn from and contribute to Made in Hackney.
Pranay is an insurance technologist. While he generally works on technology strategy for corporates in the City, he frequently takes time out to work on projects with a social impact. As CTO of Best for Britain, he led the digital pro-EU campaign, including for tactical voting in the General Elections. In 2015, he founded RefugeeMaps to help volunteers assisting in the European refugee crisis. He was one of the winning teams in an urban planning competition to reimagine Dharavi, a large and famous slum in Mumbai. His activism also led to Operation Safe Homecoming and to the rescue of thousands of Indians from Libya.
Pranay has a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Delhi University and an MBA from Bayes Business School, London.
Ned has lived in and around Hackney his entire life. He has been working in digital progressive causes for many years, working across the likes of Love Music Hate Racism, Hope Not Hate, Led By Donkeys and Global Climate Citizen. He set up his own agency Clash Digital in 2016 and now leads a team running campaigns across a wide range of global clients and agencies including the likes of Apple, It's Nice That, Pernod-Ricard / Kahlua, Lyfta, Satryna, Droga5, VCCP, Blue State Digital, Ogilvy, Milltown, Elvis and more.
Melissa is a passionate scientist currently working as a project manager within a specialist global consultancy, helping to drive and deliver challenging clinical trials across a range of therapeutic areas from metabolic disease to oncology. To date, the focus of her clinical work has always been the patient; having started out researching and analysing health outcomes and quality of life of patients enrolled onto clinical trials, as well as focusing on the recruitment and retention of patients onto trials.
Additionally, she is a registered nutritionist with a particular passion for educating people to understand food and nutrients, with a particular interest surrounding the empowerment people via cookery skills and mastering the appreciation of good flavours. Melissa has been involved in various clinical nutritional intervention studies, investigating behavioural and lifestyle changes within different populations.
Melissa also works with food brands and eateries as a consultant, analysing menus and developing recipes, as well as experimenting with food styling and photography.
Originally from California, Jenny has over 20 years of experience as a climate change specialist.
She previously spent close to 8 years working in Beijing as a Principal consultant, and managed projects including advising major clothing brands and their textile suppliers on energy efficiency and conducting greenhouse gas assessments for major international corporations.
A resident of London since 2014, Jenny worked at the Climate Group as Head of Energy Productivity Initiatives for 7 years, directing global campaigns that inspired companies to accelerate their zero carbon journeys. She is currently Director, Strategic Partnerships for Energy Foundation China, a grant-making organisation dedicated to China's sustainable energy development.
Jenny has a passion for plant-based cooking, trying out London's newest restaurants, and exploring how to use food as medicine. She also enjoys travel photography and dancing.
Jenny is excited to join Made in Hackney as a trustee and hopes to help the organisation make the critical links between food, climate, and racial equality for a just and sustainable London.
Bianca is a solicitor of England and Wales, having qualified in 2014. She began her private practice career at law firm Slaughter and May before moving to US firm Covington and Burling. She then moved in-house to Farfetch (the tech platform for the luxury fashion industry) and is currently Head of legal at VC-backed startup REKKI - an app designed by chefs for chefs to make ordering between restaurants and suppliers easier.
Outside of work Bianca also co-leads the Education team of legal charity Urban Lawyers which sees her curating legal education sessions for at-risk groups.
Bianca first encountered Made in Hackney when she came across a cooking class transforming a traditional meat-based Jamaican dish into a delectable plant based feast! She loves her Caribbean and Iranian heritage and is particularly excited about joining a charity that allows her to play a role in enhancing the health of minority cultural/ethnic groups across London.
Ashley is the Head of Live Barefoot (transformation and culture) at Vivobarefoot. She is passionate about regenerative leadership, empowering and inspiring people to make a positive difference in the world and reconnecting them to nature and their natural potential.
After getting her BSc in Food Science and beginning her career in Food Product Development in Cape Town, South Africa, Ashley moved into exciting Innovation roles in the UK at both Lily’s Kitchen and the Belazu Ingredient Company. Ashley has worked on both private label and branded products across several food sectors, including Mediterranean ingredients, baking and pantry, herbs and spices, pet food as well as food packaging. She later consulted for 5 years as the Food Sector specialist at Ayming, an R&D and Innovation consultancy based in London.
Ashley first encountered Made in Hackney when she moved to London in 2015 and lived in Hackney, attending a cooking class. She feels at home in the kitchen and when she’s not cooking for friends, she can be found running the parks and streets of London, reading books about food, leadership and psychology, enjoying wines of the world or exploring the UK's wild places.