“Everyone sees something different in Lentils”
“My love of food was passed down to me through the maternal line. My Granny is an excellent cook. My maternal grandparents are work class scots, but my Grampa was a musician and he travelled a lot playing music on cruise ships. He developed a taste for world food and when he married my Granny she had to learn to cook! He took her to the first Chinese restaurant in Glasgow and she loved it. She learnt to cook French, Italian, Chinese, Indian… It’s very unusual for someone of her generation. All of my family on my Mum’s side are food obsessed. My dad says we are the only family he’s met who will be sitting down to one meal and planning the next!
Before I came to Lentils I was living and volunteering at a yoga ashram whilst I studied yoga. I rose to head chef of the kitchen there, and became skilled at mass catering vegetarian food whilst working with international volunteers through programs like help-x. When I left the ashram my mum asked me ‘what do you want to do next with your life?’ and I said – ‘I want to do the same job but I want to get paid’. Within a week of leaving the ashram I applied and was accepted for the head chef role here in Newtown. I would never have been capable of this job if it wasn’t for my years as a volunteer. Volunteering helped me develop skills, confidence and a new sense of what I am capable of. It literally changed my life.
Working at Lentil has given me a chance to give back, to hold space for volunteers and less skilled staff, to give them the opportunity to learn and grow in an environment that is nurturing and non-judgemental. Everyone sees something different in Lentils. I feel that the most positive service that lentils offers to the community is not serving affordable food, but offering people the chance to volunteer. To be part of a family, to be accepted with all their quirks, and to build confidence, skills and friendships. I have watched people bloom in front of my eyes. Again, volunteering can change people’s lives.” — with Sian MacTaggart.
For more great Humans of Lentil, check out the facebook page here