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Marie Mitchell

Introducing chef and author, Marie Mitchell. She recently graced our spaces with her presence to celebrate the launch of her cookery book, "Kin - Caribbean Recipes for the Modern Kitchen".

Marie Mitchell X Island Social Club Credit Chiron Cole Photography 3705

Tell us a little bit about your practice…

I’m a chef, writer and soon to be author. I spend much of my time thinking about how to build and safeguard community, so all my work is centred around that or at least it starts there.

What does Home mean to you?

Home is where I am the rawest version of myself, where I find peace and at times freedom. The place I lay to sleep at night is where this used to be a given, whereas now it’s on occasions. Since having my daughter, I find home feels more like moments where I feel I find myself, rather than the version of me who is often in service to someone else. Whether that be as a partner, parent, child or when I’m working.

It’s where I can hold space for me and me alone, that is what home is to me now, it’s where I can find peace with and in myself.

How does your own idea of home inform the food you make and the events you run?

Well – the other version of home for me is either by big bodies of water or in the Caribbean, which is likely why I decided to start a supper club seven years ago centred around Caribbean cuisine and some of the pillars of the culture – community, joy, kin and food and drink!

My first cookbook Kin (the first title I had was home), is also a real celebration of these things. The fact that some of the most important words in the essays came to me when I was in Grenada shows how the idea of home, which is about finding my own peace, came when I was sat staring at the sea, listening to rustling of trees, or I sat with my skin absorbing those intense sunrays.

Food, and my cooking, is an avenue for me to talk about the many intersects of Caribbean people and culture, and how that intersects being a second-generation migrant in the UK. The events I host are then an extension of that, a home for those from the Caribbean diaspora, and for anyone who wants to understand the food, culture, and experiences more.

"Much of my cooking, and writing is about finding the ways in which my heritage and culture can inform conversation here."
- Marie Mitchell


What are your impressions of Museum of the Home and its collections?

I nannied for many years, and visited before the extensive renovation, many times, but it wasn’t until this summer that I came with friends, their children and my daughter that I saw the vastness of their work. The rooms and gardens offer looking glasses to another time, often where you can see reflections of the struggles of modern life but I found it to be a welcome inclusive space that was interactive and fun.

The workshops we took part in were accessible, with no cost barrier to entry, and had children of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds taking part in various activities. We loved it, and it left me wanting to know more!

Being in the middle of Hoxton can feel hectic at times, but having this haven in the city is both a chance to learn and take solace in. I also loved how diverse the shop was, an incredible array of cookbooks was the highlight for me.

The Museum is currently running a campaign to tackle food inequality as part of their Campaign for Change. In what way do you think the Museum is suited to raise awareness around this issue?

Museum of the Home is a space that has been centred around the domestic experience, and so in some form, the home for nearly 100 years. The home can and does mean very different things to people but it’s the space where we cannot hide from ourselves.

The Museum feels incredibly suitable in which to discuss and campaign for change, having experience of seeing how those might have lived, and how that can reflect and give us insight into the ways that impacts the people’s lives. It also has the unique perspective of being able to mentally place themselves into the experiences of others within a physical space and with that understand what it is people need, being connected rather than disconnected makes for understanding what people need.

Countertalk: Home Cooking Series

We've hosted some exciting independent chefs with events making creative use of our spaces. Our Home Cooking series explores some of these chefs and the brilliant ideas they've brought to the Museum.