Kitchen Club #1 with Social Pickle

a green rectangle has the words Kitchen Club in dark brown lettering, surrounded by abstract tube shapes in blue and yellow that resemble moving microbes
a group of people viewed by their hands and torsos only,  stand round a metal kitchen surface, preparing fermented vegetables in jars. Various pots of ingredients and implements are scattered about

Launching in April 2022, Kitchen Club brings together people who care about food including its circulation and production, to collectively reflect on what it means – culturally, socially and environmentally – to prepare, share and consume in the kitchen. Each month we invite artists and cultural practitioners to lead a two-hour gathering at Sheffield Mind. They will share their practice connected to food through their unique lens and engage participants in sensory experiences around a kitchen table.

Kitchen Club forms part of Arts Catalyst’s Emergent Ecologies programme. This first season is co-curated with artist Harun Morrison in the context of his project Mind Garden. 


Kitchen Club #1 - Learning to Trust the Gut; Fermentation as Collaboration

“When we eat, we are not sitting at the top of a food chain. We are participating in a messy entanglement of living beings with whom we share “metabolic intimacy”. - The Convivial Table, Kelly Donati

In Kitchen Club #1 Artists Hannah and Ross from Sheffield's Social Pickle will be sharing lessons in microbial relationship therapy they’ve learned from their fermentation pot. Participants will get to know their bacteria collaborators through an olfactory and taste based tour of fermented aromas and flavours. Harnessing the emotions that thoughts conjured in the process you’ll be invited to use creative writing to explore this symbiotic relationship further.
Humans live in symbiosis with bacteria through all areas of life, 90% of the DNA in our own bodies belongs to microbial organisms. Fermentation is a process where we are particularly conscious of our role as caretakers of the environment needed by those microbes so that they can thrive, and in turn help us to fend off mould, transforming ingredients into deliciously sour flavours. Fermentation is a collaborative and caring process. 
When it comes to our meals, many of us have become reliant on labels and sell by dates to direct us as to what is good and what is bad. But learning to preserve your own food means to sharpen your instincts, getting to know and love the pungent smells of these metabolic processes. Extending these empathetic notions out to the food that we eat could radically affect the way we feed ourselves and care for the conditions of all the contributing bodies to the dinner plate.
Tickets are free but please reserve a place to help us manage capacity. If you can no longer make it, please request a refund so your place can be reallocated. Book via Evenbrite here. 
ACCESS: The workshop takes at Sheffield Mind, which is accessible for wheelchair users with a disabled toilet.  Regular bus services are in place along London / Abbeydale Road. 
We are taking extra precautions to manage the risk of COVID-19.
We ask everyone attending this event to wear a mask indoors unless exempt. We are limiting capacity to enable social distancing and the room will be well ventilated. Please wear layers should you feel the cold. 
We ask everyone attending this event to take a Lateral Flow Test on the day of the event. 
Please note: If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 such as sore throat, continuous headache, dry cough, runny nose, loss of taste of smell, or high temperature, or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please do not attend. We want to keep everyone as safe as possible. Thank you for your understanding. 
If you develop symptoms of COVID19 after the event please email us at and mark it 'URGENT' . This way we will be able to contact all who attended the event.
About Social Pickle
Hannah Fincham and Ross Bennett’s collaborative work often uses vegetables as a tool, tapping into the social life of food, working around themes of creativity, care, waste, and health. Having moved to Sheffield in 2020, they found community through Foodhall and along with other volunteers they cooked meals that were being delivered around the city as part of the mutual aid and community response to the pandemic. 
Whilst doing this, a small group of fermentation enthusiasts realised that even with cooks processing every day there was still surplus in a surplus kitchen. So it made perfect sense, to add more life, or at least try to preserve the life that was in these ingredients and begin pickling. Social Pickle was born, bringing people together to share the joys of foraging, pickling and producing. Social Pickle explores fermentation as a human and non-human collaborative process, seeking to create better access to nutritious food and create less damaging practises to the planet. The process is one of shared learning, and they see it as a space for community members to empower each other through knowledge and build resilience!