Victoria Stewart meets Shelby Davis, the 23-year-old Londoner who left a life at Centre Point for one in the kitchen (Image: Agnieszka Orzel)
In the centre of a kitchen in Battersea stands a young woman dressed in a black chef’s uniform and apron, her head bent over a pile of fresh herbs that she has been quietly chopping for a few minutes. After a nod from her head chef, who tonight is Philip Juma of the Iraqi inspired catering company Juma Kitchen, she walks over to say hi and a nervous smile spreads across her face.
Shelby Davis, a 23-year-old Londoner who was brought up in Elephant and Castle, is a trainee chef with the charity Beyond Food, which aims to train people that have experienced or are at risk of homelessness in the world of food and hospitality, to help them find work.
Tonight Davis is helping out at one of the charity’s monthly supper clubs, but tomorrow she’ll be back in the kitchen at Bermondsey’s Brigade Restaurant, where each of the eight trainees is expected to do six weeks experience on each of the kitchen’s four sections, fish, sauce, larder and pastry.
Full article originally published in The Evening Standard in 2016.