A Meeting Place (AMP) launches on Instagram today, 1 November. The new “zine,” founded and curated by London food writers Anna Sulan Masing and Victoria Stewart, alongside Bristol chef-restaurateur Romy Gill, aims to amplify female expertise in and around the broader discussion of food sustainability.
The first issue, first launched at the Chefs Manifesto London Chefs hub in Summer 2018, focusses on 14 women, 11 London-based, all of whom shared their expertise and insight on what the future of food looks like in the context of their work.
Speakers included Asma Khan, soon to appear on Netflix’s Chef Table and owner of Darjeeling Express in Soho; Zoe Adjonyoh, founder and owner of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, most recently resident at The Institute of Light; Missy Flynn, co-founder and owner of Rita’s Dining and the soon-to-open Bodega Rita’s at Coal Drops Yard; Emma Underwood, restaurant manager at Stem and partner at The Tmrw Project with Masing and London chef Dan Doherty of The Royal Oak; Kemi Akinola, founder of Be Enriched community canteens in Brixton, Tooting, Southwark and Battersea; and Fozia Ismail, who recently hosted Arawelo Eats’ first London supper club at Darjeeling Express. Each speaker presented an interpretation of a sustainable future in food and drink based on their expertise and lived experience, in a space absent of the scepticism and undermining challenges to female expertise that are often found below the line and on social media.
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ISSUE #1. Meet @zoeadjonyoh @___________sams & @ @myhungryvalentine • • Zoe Adjonyoh — Zoe has been championing food from west Africa for the last 10 years. Over that time she has considered important aspects such as her carbon footprint, the repurposing of food waste, championing BAME women in food, and beating stereotypes. One thing she is particularly proud of is that her menu of 40+ dishes is based around a core of only 12 ingredients, some of which grows herself. @ghanakitchen Sam Rogg — An importer of biodynamic and natural wines, Sam Rogg, along with Oli Hudson, started @naturalbornwine after becoming disillusioned by the harmful agricultural and cellar practices often used in conventionally-made mass-produced wines, and the lack of public knowledge surrounding it. Her business aims to disrupt some of the myths around natural wine while celebrating the growers she represents. In addition to supplying restaurants, she and Oli sell their wines every weekend at London farmers’ markets - here they write a story about every wine, binding it to the bottle at the point of sale. ⚡️⚡️ Valentine Benoist — From a writer’s background, she is keen to tells stories of ceramics, knife forging and textile dying, all of which are all important to consider. She is keen for people to think about sustainability in food in a wider sense, to include crockery and products as part of that conversation and journey.
The chosen format is also an indicator of the mission at hand. The zine — an inherently countercultural, disruptive, and communal form — signals an intent to operate outside of more conventional media strictures. That said, it is using the fastest growing social network in the world. Masing told Eater that: “we chose the name because it’s about a community, reflective of the idea of a town square, a market place ... A place of equality and equity, a ‘flat’ structure where everyone has a stake in its success (as the topic of sustainability should be) — not hierarchy.
“We don’t want to ‘own’ this idea or zine.”
Issue two is currently in the works.