I am an academic and writer living in Melbourne. I love to travel and I also love writing about all the things Melbourne, regional Victoria and other parts of Australia have to offer.
Published October 2nd 2016
Cooking classes with a difference
Have you ever wanted to learn to cook authentic and exotic foods beyond the usual Italian and Spanish and other popular cuisines? Here is your chance and at the same time you will be contributing to a social enterprise with a difference.
Free to feed as part of free to organisation is a program aimed at training, mentoring and supporting refugees in their quest to find suitable employment. The trainees have all had experience in the food and hospitality industry, be it as chefs, restaurant owners or cooks for their families and friends.
Free to feed offer pop-up cooking classes all run by refugees and asylum seekers. These cooking classes can take place anywhere, in cafes,restaurants and cooking schools. The classes focus on Iranian, Persian, Kenyan, Tamil and Mediterranean food and the classes vary from Master classes to street food and pickling and preserving of food. Looking at some of the food and ingredients used in these classes makes one's taste buds go into overdrive; for example, fragrant cardamom, saffron and honey tea and mouth-watering Persian Doughnuts with saffron and rose water for dessert.
The cooking classes offer more than just cooking, as delicious as that may be, they are also about connecting with people from other countries, getting to understand their culture and enjoying their hospitality. As well as the pop-up classes, free to feed also offer cooking classes followed by dinners at your home or as a team building activity at your work. What better way to celebrate a special event or a family celebration than to have a cooking class followed by a delicious feast. They will even do the cleaning at the end of the night! At $80 a head this is a very reasonable price to pay for an evening of fun, learning and delicious food.
You will also be sending a message of welcome and support, as well as contributing to providing employment to refugees and asylum seekers, a group of people often disenfranchised through no fault of their own. You will hear their personal stories and connect with them in the oldest and best way - through food , cooking and sharing a few laughs along the way.