El Lyon, involved since the start, spoke to Rebecca Kennedy about how food is central to this special initiative at The Model. (This article first appeared in the Sligo Weekender). Photo Brian Farrell.
Sligo Global Kitchen (SGK) is an art and food project funded by the Community Foundation for Ireland, in partnership with The Model. Sligo Global Kitchen welcomes everyone in the community, especially those living in direct provision to come together to share a meal. Since its inception in 2015, SGK has garnered a reputation not only as a key player in community integration but also as a unique and inclusive dining experience, preparing and serving delicious cuisine from around the world to friends, family and newcomers alike.
Building on their popularity and success, The Model is now supporting SGK in the development of an exciting new initiative, the Sligo Global Kitchen supper clubs. This initiative has seen local chef Brid Torrades working with eleven members of Sligo Global Kitchen to enhance their skills and expertise. With one successful pilot event already under their belt, the Sligo Global Kitchen Supper Club is off to a great start. To gain a better understanding of this new initiative we spoke to one of the community members behind it, El Lyon.
‘I like taking part in Sligo Global Kitchen because it is a meaningful project,’ said El Lyon, on his long-standing participation in SGK. El, or Elvis as he is affectionately known, is one of the original members of SGK, helping to shape the project into the flagship of community spirit that it is today. ‘I have been involved since the beginning,’ said Elvis. Recently, the SGK veteran had taken a step back to concentrate on some personal ventures but even when he is on a self-imposed hiatus, Elvis is never too far from SGK. ‘I started to slow down my involvement in the project because I started my studies but I have always been around to help and organise,’ said Elvis, who is studying business and Tourism at I.T. Sligo. ‘I am hoping that it turns out to be financially sustainable,’ said Elvis, ‘and could become something that provides employment opportunities and skills.’
For Elvis, the Sligo Supper Club initiative has allowed him to gain formal training in the food industry, giving the novice cook some new skills to bolster his hobby. ‘I never worked in the food industry but I have always loved to cook,’ said Elvis. So what kind of skills has Elvis been able to add to his repertoire? ‘I have learned skills like time management and food decoration,’ said Elvis, ‘you can make food presentable. Brid is good at that.’
There are a number of factors that differentiate Sligo Global Kitchen community events from their new supper club initiative. For example, when Sligo Global Kitchen cater a supper club event, they offer table service, a shake-up from the usual buffet style service of Sligo Global Kitchen. It’s a change of direction but Elvis insists that despite the increased workload, members of Sligo Global Kitchen supper club are fit for the challenge. ‘We all do the food preparation and serving,’ said Elvis, ‘the hours are very long but we keep going. With guidance from Brid, everything is smooth.’
Tickets are selling fast for the Supper Club on Saturday, October 12th, 8pm. To book Sligo Global Kitchen’s supper club event, please visit themodel.ie or call 07191 41405.