For people who have sought asylum in Australia, sharing a meal is a way to join the community while keeping memories of home alive. Share a Meal, Share a Story is a recipe book that celebrates the smorgasbord of cuisines that refugees bring with them when they make a new home in Australia, along with the stories of what that dish means to them.
The cookbook has won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award and has been featured extensively on the SBS Food platforms. With World Food Day coming up on October 16 and the global pandemic faced this year, these stories are more relevant than ever.
SBS Food Online Managing Editor Farah Celjo said food and the stories that go with it hold great importance for refugees.
“Eating is more than simple sustenance,” she said.
“Food is an act of love. An energy creator. It unites us. An experience that everyone on this planet can relate to. It is a satisfying celebration of flavour, culture and meaning, like no other.
“There is something so joyous about not only cooking the dishes we hold so dear but also the ability to share them with those around us. To teach others about our own flavour, stories and the ability to taste something and instantly be transported to a time and place. It really is a thing of beauty.
“For the chefs in this book, who have sought safety in Australia, food takes them back to a home, culture and people they have had to leave behind. New beginnings and new memories are forged but their history is never forgotten. Preparing these dishes from their home evokes a poignant nostalgia, and allows people to keep their culture and traditions alive in their new home.
“These are not just meals; they are memories of freedom and loss, stories of joy and journey, of belonging and of longing. And most importantly of welcoming. This is where we all come together and embrace one other.”
All funds raised from the sale of the book go directly to the featured chefs and to support the advocacy of the Refugee Council of Australia.