Tanya and team serve up a storm in Superkitchen

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Our Derby Superkitchen, based within St James Derby College, is run by one of our residents, Tanya, along with two volunteers. Officially opened in October 2018, it serves hearty lunch time meals to appreciative customers every Wednesday and Thursday.

Part of a countrywide network, Superkitchens make use of surplus food to provide fresh, affordable meals for the community in social eating places. Tanya never knows what supplies will be delivered, so the weekly menu is always a surprise.

But this no problem for her. Tanya is a talented chef who has the gift of being able to create nutritious meals out of nothing.

“I have to think on my feet, but that’s what I love: being inventive with my ingredients and coming up with dishes customers will enjoy,” she says.

Tanya has always cooked – she used to watch her grandmother from young age.

She first started volunteering in the Superkitchen in June 2018; she now enjoys being in charge of both the kitchen and front-of-house. “I always say I’m ‘in love with cooking’. I feel very fulfilled when I see the community enjoying my food. But now, I’m even happier to be paid for doing what I love,” says Tanya.

She also works at a nursery one-and-a-half days a week and volunteers at her church’s soup kitchen.

Tanya has plenty of experience in the food industry: she did a two-year catering course and worked as a catering assistant at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary and also in a café.

When the dining room is full, there could be up to 60 people waiting to be served. The team has already had plenty of positive feedback and word is spreading fast about the wholesome food which is served with a smile.

Diners get the choice of two main meals, a pudding and a drink for £2-50.

One of the regular customers is MTVH resident, Nick who, after spotting an advert on Facebook, now visits the Superkitchen at least once a week for a meal.

“I sometimes have two main courses – maybe fish pie and a jacket potato – as it’s delicious and great value for money. I can’t complain at all – I feel looked after and, best of all, its local. Next time I’ll bring my friend.”