Updated: Nov 26, 2019
Within the beautiful Grade II Listed Victorian cricket pavilion in Leyton, we celebrated the pre-launch of our recipe book: More Than A Recipe Book. Over 40 guests were greeted on arrival with a Guyanese lime water spiked with vodka. Our crack team of volunteers and participants served up a delicious three-course feast from recipes direct from the book, with everyone sitting round large, communal tables. One guest referred to the experience as being similar to dining with family.
Between each tasty course, we listened to the tales of Stories & Supper’s participants. Often moving, sometimes funny but always powerful, the brilliant storytellers kept the audience captivated throughout. A visitor noted that “I was surprised to hear how much struggle and upset people have been through, but how happy and positive they seem now.”
Mohamed Alie is from Sierra Leone, and he told of his childhood, growing up as one of 20 children and of the meals they ate together. We then learnt of the horrendous day that the rebels came to loot his town and he was kidnapped by them. Mohamed Alie talked of his years living with the rebels then in a refugee camp, before finally being reunited with his family, after 15 years.
Guests were served the delicious aubergine curry by Shahnaz, then listened to Shahnaz speak about her time living in an abusive relationship in Bangladesh, before escaping to UK. We learnt of her weekly cooking at Red Cross in Dalston and about how people now flock to enjoy her famous curry.
The final speaker was Laura Martinez, who came from Venezuela and who has been using her skills in photography as a way of expressing her feelings of nostalgia and sadness. Her photography has helped her to manage the pain she feels about never being able to return to her homeland. As Laura says: “We are all immigrants. We all have a story to tell. The important thing is that we recognise in our own history that we were brave and strong to get where we are today.”
Buy More Than A Recipe Book here!