Amelia Stewart

Cooking is Community: Cook First + ROI Supper Club

Amelia Stewart
Cooking is Community: Cook First + ROI Supper Club

I absolutely love a supper club – to be part of people coming together, cooking together and then devouring the fruits of their labour together is my idea of a perfect evening. So as you can imagine, I was thrilled to be part of the ROI Supper Club held on 9th September in London.

I have been teaching cooking since 2016, when I founded Cook First, and continue to be filled with joy when I see people coming together and enjoying the delicious, wholesome food they themselves have created.  Cooking is an empowering experience; the mantra of Cook First is to make people #KitchenConfident, as cooking can be a impactful vehicle for positive change – both personally and collectively.

In true #meatlessmonday style, we created two wholly plant-based dishes – pizza for our main course (a perfect sharing food) and gooey, sumptuous peanut butter brownies for dessert.  Not only were the dishes vegan, but great emphasis was also placed on how the ingredients (the pizza toppings for example) were locally grown, seasonal and organic. We also were so lucky to have delicious home-brewed beer to accompany our meal - Sadeh Farm’s resident craftier, the Lone Goat Brewing Company, kindly supplied some fabulous beer brewed with homegrown organic hops!

ROI Community is an international network of over 1,300 young Jewish activists, entrepreneurs and innovators who are enhancing Jewish engagement and fostering positive social change globally. ROI members are proven leaders in diverse fields who are committed to making the world a better place and are driven by Jewish values, most fundamentally, the importance of community.  And what better epitomises ‘community’ than cooking and eating together?

A huge thank you is due to the ROI their incredibly generous support and for helping us make this Supper Club happen. It was a perfect opportunity to connect with ROI members in London and make further plans for future events, to strengthen the Jewish community and improve society.

We can’t wait until the next one!


Check out the recipes of the Supper Club’s dishes below:

Quick & Easy Pizza

Makes 2 large or 4 small pizzas


For the pizza dough

500g strong white or brown bread flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp dried yeast

1 tsp caster sugar

1 ½ tbsp olive oil

For the tomato sauce

100ml passata

1 tbsp fresh basil

1 garlic clove, crushed

For the toppings (add as many as you like!)

200g vegan mozzarella-style cheese, grated

Fresh basil

Sliced onions, tomatoes, mushrooms

Green or black olives


1.     Put the flour, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Measure 150ml of cold water and 150ml boiling water into a jug and mix them together – this will mean your water is a good temperature for the yeast. Add the oil and 1 tsp salt to the warm water then pour it over the flour. Stir well with a spoon then start to knead the mixture together in the bowl until it forms a soft and slightly sticky dough. If it’s too dry add a splash of cold water.

2.     Dust a little flour on the work surface and knead the dough for 10 mins. Put it back in the mixing bowl and cover with cling film greased with a few drops of olive oil. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

3.     Heat oven to 220C and put a baking sheet or pizza stone on the top shelf to heat up. Once the dough has risen, knock it back by punching it a couple of times with your fist then kneading it again on a floured surface. It should be springy and a lot less sticky. Set aside while you prepare the sauce.

4.     Put all the ingredients for the tomato sauce together in a bowl, season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar if you like and mix well. Set aside until needed.

5.     Divide the dough into 2 or 4 pieces (depending on whether you want to make large or small pizzas), shape into balls and flatten each piece out as thin as you can get it with a rolling pin or using your hands. Make sure the dough is well dusted with flour to stop it sticking. Dust another baking sheet with flour then put a pizza base on top – spread 4-5 tbsp of the tomato sauce on top and add some sliced tomatoes and grated vegan cheese.

6.     Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake in the oven on top of your preheated baking tray for 10-12 mins or until the base is puffed up and the vegan cheese has melted and is bubbling and golden in patches.

7.     Repeat with the rest of the dough and topping. Once cooked, serve the pizzas with fresh basil leaves or chili oil drizzled over.

Peanut Butter Brownies

Makes about 12


·       2 tbsp ground flax seed + 5 tbsp water

·       120g plain flour

·       35g cacao powder 

·       ½ tsp baking powder

·       ½ tsp salt

·       180ml coconut milk 

·       190g sugar-free smooth peanut butter, plus more for drizzle (Optional)

·       170g cup sugar (you could also use coconut sugar)

·       1 tsp vanilla extract

·       115g cup dairy-free chocolate chips


1.     Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350F and grease or line a 9x9 inch baking tin.

2.     Combine the ground flax seed and water together in a small bowl, and then set aside to let thicken for 5 minutes.

3.     Next sift the flour, cacao powder, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and stir until well combined. Form a well in the centre of the bowl, then add in the coconut milk, peanut butter, sugar and vanilla extract, and then the flax ‘egg’. Mix this well until a thick batter forms, then fold in the chocolate chips.

4.     Pour the batter into the baking tin and spread it around evenly with a spatula. If you’d like to make a peanut butter swirl, spread a thick drizzle of nut butter around the top of the batter, then use a knife to swirl everything around.

5.     Bake for 20-22 minutes, then let cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.