Search

Sofia Larrinua: The woman who teaches Finsbury families how to cook for 50p

PUBLISHED: 13:50 07 February 2018

Sofia Larrinua, manager of Central Street Cookery School. Picture: Sofia Larrinua

Sofia Larrinua, manager of Central Street Cookery School. Picture: Sofia Larrinua

Archant

From an early dementia service to its “community fridge” tackling food waste, St Luke’s Community Centre does amazing work for its people in the south of Islington.

Sofia Larrinua’s Central Street Cookery School is another example. In the six years since it formed at St Luke’s, it has hosted 800 cheap classes helping 19,000 people.

Sofia, who manages the school, said: “The St Luke’s chief executive wanted a cookery school as a focus for bringing people together. He said to me: ‘This is the room, now give me a business plan.’ It was very exciting.”

Sofia’s plan was simple: hire out the kitchen privately – for photoshoots, product launches, private classes and even hen parties – and use the proceeds to fund low-cost community classes for people with an EC1 postcode.

Her plan has worked out pretty well.

Every week, the school holds regular classes. On Wednesday nights, for example, there is a class for children and their parents for just 50p. And once a month, it hosts an over-55s baking club for £2.

Sofia has also put on specialist classes, like the one for unemployed people to help them find work in the catering industry, and another for people with diabetes.

Before taking on the cookery school, Sofia had spent 27 years in the food industry, having trained as a food scientist in her native Mexico. But she said Central Street has been the most satisfying project: “Lots of local people benefit from this.

“The classes for children and parents have been very popular. I have seen children here from the very beginning in 2012, at five years old. Now, at 11, their approach to food has changed, and they are confident people.

“Older people also love the classes. Some may have been socially isolated, and many come to make friends. The cookery school has become like an extended family for them.

“I want to bring the joy of cooking to everyone. I would rate my enjoyment of this role at 11 out of 10! It’s very satisfying when you see people mastering what they are doing, and having fun while doing it.”

For more information about Central Street Cookery School and to get involved, visit centralstreet.org

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Fri, 17:42

A man aged 95 has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a carer died from head injuries while working at Holloway’s Ringcross Estate.

Fri, 17:25

A 22-year-old man was today being held on suspicion of murder over the Upper Street stabbing of Marcel Campbell, 30.

Fri, 14:21

Islington’s new mayor was sworn in last night. Cllr Dave Poyser will use his one year term to raise cash for two worthy Islington charities: homeless shelter CARIS Islington and Holloway’s Freightliners Farm.

Fri, 13:45

Activists who led the fight against a law banning the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools came together on Wednesday night, 30 years on from its introduction –and 15 years after its repeal. The Gazette was there to listen and learn.

Fri, 10:53

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Fri, 10:35

A property company has been ordered to pay the largest planning fine in Islington’s history after a “substandard” conversion of a Tufnell Park house into five flats.

Fri, 08:13

Teenager Ahmed Hashi has been convicted of Mohammed Hersi’s brutal killing in Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

“I try and do my best to enhance the young person’s capabilities. I’m very focused on their education, their wellbeing and their cultural needs.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now