Rastafarian Jah Spirit remembered at Made in Hackney’s vegan summer knees up
- Credit: Kuba Owak for Made In Hackney www.kubanowak.com
The life of Jah Spirit was celebrated at a summer party held by Made In Hackney, where he used to teach Rastafarian cookery classes.
A large portrait picture of Spirit, who died in February aged 71, looked on at the community event in Woodberry Down’s Redmond Centre in Kayani Avenue, where 200 people gathered on Wednesday night.
Spirit, whose real name is Lowell Grant, was a well-known figure in Hackney thanks to his cooking classes, his MCing and former shop in Broadway Market.
Madam Zucchini from the ITV show Britain’s Got Talent entertained youngsters while dressed as a courgette, along with the Fanti Acrobats - one of whom squeezed himself into a bowl while another put a flaming rod down his pants.
The charity and community cookery school has a plant-based vegan food policy, and teacher Mark Breen served up rice and peas, vegetable curry, ital ‘slaw, hummus, and fruit salad with coconut yoghurt to the hungry masses.
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Co-founder of the charity which runs a programme of cookery and food growing classes and events, Sarah Bentley told the Gazette: “We hold the annual party to bring together, thank and celebrate our volunteers, class participants, staff and supporters for all their tireless work helping themselves and the community be happier and healthier.
“We aim to help people to grow, cook and eat more plants – not just fruit and veg but nuts, grains, seeds and all that good stuff – for the betterment of the health of people and planet.”
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Sarah has given a Ted Talk about the success of the kitchen which raised £80,000 last year through a Crowdfunder.
The night ended with a presentation to his family of a photo of Spirit in action in the kitchen, holding a plate of ital stew he had made with his class.
“His family agreed he would have loved the do,” said Sarah.
Entertainment at the event, attended by Speaker Cllr Clare Potter and cookery book author and Made in Hackney ambassador Rachel de Thample, included mask making, vegetable super-hero making, sauerkraut sampling, guess the weird vegetable and a raffle. Cuban conga player Oreste ‘Sambroso’ Noda played the drums, and Made In Hackney youth ambassador Jay Brave performed his hit Vegan Shut Up which has gone viral online.