A year and a half ago, Meg Doherty volunteered for a men’s homeless shelter in North London. The accommodations were supposed to be temporary, but Doherty says everyone she met expected to be there for years. The problem was that they couldn’t make enough money to get a place of their own.
“Then one day one of my colleagues at the shelter was running a Caribbean cooking class,” says Doherty. “My lightbulb moment came when we were cooking fish curry with reggae music blaring. I realized that everyone there had incredible recipes, because it was such a mix of cultures.”
“My lightbulb moment came when we were cooking fish curry with reggae music blaring.”
That was the inspiration for Fat Macy’s, which sponsors supper clubs where the shelter residents are the star chefs. As they cook remarkable food, they earn money for rent and rack up skills they need to find full-time jobs. The organization is currently sponsoring dozens of events a year.
Doherty says her dream is to move her organization out of its cramped quarters at the shelter and into a new commercial kitchen. Winning an $18,000 prize at the London Creator Awards in September puts her one step closer to her goal.