Meet the team

Here you can learn more about the team that are bringing Migrateful cookery classes to a venue near you. Are you interested in working at Migrateful? Join the team.

Jess Thompson

The founder, Jess Thompson, prior to setting up Migrateful, spent two and a half years working on the front line to support migrants and refugees in Ceuta, Morocco, Dunkirk refugee camp in France, and London. Her work has included facilitating a support group for victims of human trafficking, teaching English, Spanish and French to asylum seekers, and setting up therapeutic English conversation clubs. Jess also completed the Year Here Fellowship from 2016-2017 which gave her the training and network to set up Migrateful. This year she was featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List in recognition of her achievement in setting up Migrateful. 

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Anne Condé

Anne works on Migrateful’s business development and supports the chef training. Anne has trained in contemporary theatre and has been working in the arts and social enterprise sectors since graduating in 2014. It is through her background facilitating theatre workshops that she developed a passion for social work and helping people achieve confidence and empowerment.

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Tomi Makanjuola

Tomi uses her background in online content creation to manage Migrateful’s marketing strategy and social media channels. She is excited about finding creative ways to share the stories, recipes and work of the Migrateful chefs. She is a vegan chef and blogger who specialises in Nigerian cuisine. Her work includes cookery workshops, recipe development and creating bespoke pop-up events.

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Elizabeth Kolawole-Johnson

Elizabeth trained as a psychologist in Nigeria before moving to the UK, 10 years ago. She joined Migrateful as a chef in 2017 and managed to finaly regulate her immigration status in 2018. She has first hand experience of  working as a chef for Migrateful and how life changing the experience has been for her, making her perfectly placed to carry out her role as Event Coordinator. 

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Andrea Merino-Mayayo

Andrea, brought up in Madrid, is currently studying a masters in International Development in the Netherlands. She started an internship with Migrateful as part of her masters, and now organizes private and corporate classes, and deals with other bookings enquiries for Migrateful as Bookings Manager. Her love for food, cooking, diversity and community is what drew her to Migrateful.

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Stephen Wilson

Steve is the Head of Chef Training at Migrateful. He is an experienced chef and cookery teacher with experience varying from working in Michelin starred restaurants and in mass catering for community projects. He set up The People’s Kitchen, and Dalstons, a natural soft drinks company. He now works as a cookery teacher and chef consultant, as well as running a new pop up called @Tableonthewater.

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Our trustees

Isabel Sachs​

Isabel is an arts and culture manager with international experience in artists and event management and communications, having founded and sold an award-winning international production company based in Brazil. She started volunteering at Migrateful in 2018 and supported the expansion of the activities before becoming a Trustee.

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Emily Miller​

Emily heads up learning and partnerships at the Migration Museum in London. She coordinates all their work with schools, unis and other organisations in different sectors. It is through this role that she met Jess and came across the wonders of Migrateful. The Migration Museum now hosts monthly Migrateful cooking class and has been lucky to share the delicious cuisines of various chefs through their catering at the museum’s Refugee Week events. Emily is proud to be a trustee and help the organisation develop and grow – and help more people affected by the hostile environment.

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Mary Locke​

After a career in international development and social investment, Mary now focuses on ways to deal with conflict and difference constructively. She works as a mediator and is exploring ways to evaluate the efficacy of community mediation and dialogue. She was drawn to Migrateful recognising the power of its model – not only supporting vulnerable migrants but also bringing people together through the universal love of food. She is also an active fellow of the RSA.

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Habib Sedat

Habib is part of the Migrateful chef alumni. Habib managed to escape the talibans, using food as his tool to survive in the Afghan army; in Calais refugee camp and now to thrive in London. Habib says that teaching the Migrateful cookery classes allowed him to meet British people and it was a place where he could belong and people made him feel valued and trusted. Running the classes has also helped him to develop the idea of starting his own Afghan food company.

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