A pioneering project has seen Waitrose Partners come together through food for Black History Month

Three Waitrose Partners have joined the Waitrose Cookery Schools team to create four new recipes based on the food they cook at home.

They are Ola’s jollof rice, Nikki’s red fish curry, Emma’s rice & peas and a cookery school recipe for jerk chicken with papaya slaw, which Emma also worked on.

It started with a project to raise awareness of different ingredients among Partners called ‘Discovery of Flavour’, run by chefs Alfred Saddington and Rebecca Roberts from the Waitrose Cookery Schools.

Afterwards they were approached by a lead member of Unity, a network of partners whose purpose is to support the John Lewis Partnership’s work to recognise, value and unlock the potential of Partners and customers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.

Nikki (left), Emma (right) and a third Partner, Ola, share the food they cook at home. Photo credit: Richard Cannon

It organised for Emma, Ola and Nikki to visit different Waitrose shops and cook alongside Partners in the branch dining rooms, which serve up hot cooked meals.

“All the staff got involved,” says Nikki, who works in the dining room at Waitrose in Bloomsbury. "They have celebrated with us and it’s been a fantastic month of eating different food every day – we’ve been learning from each other.”

Nikki was born in Jamaica and her dish of red fish curry is inspired by the fresh fish and homegrown vegetables she ate growing up. “It’s something I created for my three kids – an everyday dish I cook about three times a month.”

Try making the dishes at home