Since 2019 the MFC Foundation has been working with MasterChef’ quarter-finalist Matei Baran. The aim of the course is to help people who may be struggling with their mental health, through kitchen therapy.

Although it may sound unorthodox, there is evidence that cooking, and spending quality time in the kitchen can greatly improve mental health. Through MFC Foundation‘s Kitchen Therapy courses, groups and individuals are not only developing lifetime skills but they’re also working to better their emotional wellbeing and improve self-esteem, by creating a safe and supportive environment for them to learn.

With Chef’s help each participant has learns how to make good, healthy food properly. At the end of the course the group are sometimes set a task to cook a full meal for paying customers, normally taking over the kitchen at a restaurant.

During the first and second lockdowns, the Kitchen Therapy class was put on pause, but that didn’t mean the work was halted. The community still needed help, even more so, with many feeling lonely during isolation periods. Matei and staff from the Foundation, set out to deliver specially made food packages to homes throughout East Cleveland.

Recently a Kitchen Therapy group from Lockwood went on a day trip to Newcastle to visit Chef’s Kitchen, the millennium bridge and a local farm. The trip out was a chance for the group to make small moves to start socialising again, in light of lockdown restrictions lifting.

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