Why we’re here
“Confidence in cooking ability led to fewer fast food meals, more meals as a family, and more frequent preparation of meals with vegetables in adulthood”.
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour
Meet The Team
Aisling Kirwan, The Grub Club Founding Director
Aisling grew up in a loving family however along with her siblings she suffered because of her bad diet. After becoming a qualified teacher in the UK, she was shocked to discover that her family was not an exception; many of the young people that she taught were disabled because of their bad diets. It was no surprise that these students struggled to learn or even access the curriculum and Aisling realised so much of what impacts their performance happens outside of the school gates. After training as a chef, Aisling wanted to make a difference to young people and their ability to thrive so she started The Grub Club to break the cycle and ensure children have the chance to maximise their potential by fuelling their tummies. Aisling’s favourite thing to make with the Grub Clubber families is curry…but not too hot, she’s a bit of a wimp when it comes to spiciness!
Emma Cobb, Workshop Facilitator
Growing up in a busy household of six, meal times were seen as a sociable affair in Emma’s family with everyone taking on various roles to ensure great food was prepared, placed and devoured at the table – a traditional family roast is known to consist of at least seven various veggies! Being the second eldest of four siblings meant that Emma was especially eager to take reins of the kitchen and soak up all of her parents tips and tricks to ensure healthy, wholesome and budget friendly meals were added to her recipe repertoire…not least because it meant she was exempt from washing up duties in the process! After 10 years working as a Private Nanny, catering for families and applying the lessons learned as a young child, Emma found herself drawn to professional training and the urge to share her passion and love of food to help inspire youngsters as she was once inspired herself – even if it does mean occasionally taking charge of the dishes!
Sunny Kleo, Workshop Facilitator
Sunny grew up in an Indian household with immigrant parents who always felt they could cook anything ‘better at home’ instead of eating out! Unfortunately, a lot of their traditional family recipes required deep-frying and were sugar-heavy, so there was a period while growing up, when Sunny did not know much about healthy eating. But since learning about the importance of a balanced diet, she has developed healthy habits that will now last a lifetime. And there was one advantage of growing up in a family of competitive cooks – it meant that Sunny had to develop her own winning style, which has turned out to be inventive, fast and fusion-focused. Her favourite food is Mexican and she enjoys visiting warmer places to work out what new/secret ingredients she can then sneak into her own recipes.
Nicola Cockroft, Communications Manager
Nicola grew up in New Zealand where her Mum helped her form healthy habits at a young age by showing her how to pick fresh peas from the garden and giving her tasty fruit and veggie alternatives to sugary, processed food. Nicola helps make sure word gets around about The Grub Club to schools, students and parents through this website and our social media channels. She is a keen baker and often shares hints, tips and yummy recipes, so make sure you follow us on Instagram or Twitter so you don’t miss out!
Trustee and Brand Mentor
Amanda has nearly a decade’s experience working in advertising agencies and advises The Grub Club on their brand and marketing strategy. Her Mum hated cooking so she grew up on jacket potatoes and microwave meals. When she got to Uni she realised what a social and fun experience cooking was so she enlisted the help of her friends to teach her basic cooking skills. Not only did she save money cooking from scratch but she also found she had more energy. Now she finds cooking relaxing and loves to experiment with new ingredients or recipes she hasn’t tried before, although this has gone disastrously wrong once or twice before!
Trustee and Sales Mentor
During the day he is a financial technology sales specialist with a specific focus on Derivatives. He manages a team of 13 people for Bloomberg, the leading provider of financial data and workflow solutions. He manages the Belgium and Luxembourg region, a hugely strategic region for Bloomberg and an even more difficult team containing no less than 8 Nationalities and languages. While in the evening he is a father of two bilingual children in suburban Kent. Hugo is however also passionate about making a difference for those he works with and society more globally which is why he jumped at the opportunity to join the The Grub Club, and has taken great enjoyment and given much of his time to ensure the start up’s continued success. For him healthy eating is not a choice but a necessity and a passion which he looks forward to be part of bringing his sales expertise and business acumen.
Trustee and Schools Mentor
Having been a Headteacher, Executive Headteacher and a National Leader of Education a long time if you really care about your students’ well-being then nutrition education for students must be a compulsory component within your school’s provision on a regular basis to insure the most important of messages is understood very clearly by pupils. More and more children love to cook and be in the kitchen, the subject has really boomed in the last five years so what we must do is teach them nutrition alongside how to cook and eat healthily. The Grub Club do this in such the perfect way engaging parents like no other enrichment activity I have come across. Cooking for the family and all that it brings to the child is such an important part of their development in so many ways. Education begins at home and with The Grub Club you bring the home to school.