In late 2019, Associate Annie Nichols opened Hot Meals Now Canteen, a community canteen in OSE’s old home, the Margate Adult Education Centre.
Leading up to the opening, Annie led a series of free, public cooking workshops. Each workshop acted as an introduction to the food that she serves in the canteen, giving participants the opportunity to cook some of her recipes alongside her.
Workshop participants were offered cooking advice, tasting sessions, and an insight into Annie’s ideas and plans for the canteen, her year as an OSE Associate, and her art practice.
Monday 30 September, 9-11am
Breakfast workshop with AEC Staff, AEC learners, OSE Associates and alumni.
Tuesday 1 October, 9.45-11am
Breakfast workshop with the OSE Young Associates to talk about and taste the food to be served in the canteen.
Saturday 2 November, 10am-3pm
A free cooking workshop for parents and children. Join Annie to cook some of the recipes she’ll be serving to both adults and kids in the canteen. The workshop will be running 10am-3pm but you must book a time slot. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the number of people in your group and your preferred time slot out of: 10-11am, 11am-12pm, 12pm-1pm, 1pm-2pm, 2pm-3pm. Slots are limited to a maximum of 12 children per hour.
Wednesday 6 November, 12-6pm
Lunch and afternoon workshop for East Kent Mencap GOLD Group and members of The Garden Gate Project.
Thursday 7 November, 3pm-9pm
Afternoon and evening workshop for AEC staff and learners.
Friday 8 November, 10am-6pm
Morning and lunchtime workshop for Thanet District Council, Library and Job Centre staff.
Annie Nichols calls herself ‘an artist that cooks a lot of food’. She originally trained and worked as a chef in hotels and restaurants in the UK, Switzerland and Australia. She then became a food stylist and cookery writer (author of six cookbooks), has regularly taught cookery here, and in Sicily and studied at Central Saint Martins School of Art (now Institute of the Arts London). With a belief in good food for all, she works with many different local community groups in Margate and Cliftonville — United Mothers, Artsedex, Bags of Taste, The Garden Gate Project, Summer Kitchen, GOLD East Kent Mencap, Beyond The Page and The Seaside Singers Dementia Choir — to inspire people to cook and eat good food. To bring people together through food and cooking, to encourage people to listen to each other and create social cohesion. She has hosted supper clubs and events locally — Cliftonville Bowls Club, Cliffs, The Garden Gate Project, Urchin Wines, Hantverk and Found — and in 2018 was commissioned by Turner Contemporary to create a supper club in response to their exhibition, Journeys with the Wasteland 2018. For this she created a seven-course feast (inspired by T.S Eliot and his time spent in Margate). Guests ate sitting in a polytunnel at The Garden Gate Project, lit by Chinese lanterns and entertained by performances, spoken word and live music. She also makes botanical cocktails with local, seasonal produce, and forages the coastline for edible ingredients to use in these and her food. Currently she is an Open School East 2019 Associate Artist.