5 years ago Heidi Lipson starting Cooking Circles in Canberra.
She had the idea when she was living and working in Timor Leste. Looking for a way to connect with her host family she found the best place to start was in the kitchen chopping, shopping, cooking and chatting about food, family, stories and histories. From that came a connection to the community and people. When she returned to Canberra she started Cooking Circles as a way of bringing people together through the simple act of cooking and sharing a meal together.
ABC Canberra Field Reporter Lish Fejer followed her nose to the Currie Crescent Community Centre to find the hall and tiny little kitchen buzzing with industry – people cutting capsicum, crumbling feta, stirring sauces, washing dishes, laying tables, welcoming people, pinning on name tags and having a good time. It was like a big family lunch get together with everyone lending a hand.
Listen to the audio here or copy and paste the following link into your browser www.abc.net.au/radio/canberra/programs/sundaybrunch/cooking-circles-lish-pkg/11616692
Cooking Circles volunteer Anna White sat down with Sunita and Sanjay of Daana. Here’s a little of that conversation!
Sunita and Sanjay Kumar, who run Daana restaurant in Curtin describe themselves as chefs and social entrepreneurs.
Sunita and Sanjay originally started their first restaurant in Canberra at the Westside Container Village. They specialised in Indian street food from this venue and it was a big hit.
Daana opened in September 2016. It was recently awarded 2017 Best New Restaurant ACT by the Restaurant and
Catering Association Savour Awards. The cuisine is predominantly South Indian and Coastal Indian. South Indian cooking is based around rice,lentils, and stews. Dishes such as dosa (a lentil and rice crêpe), idli (steamed lentil rice cakes), sambar (spicy lentil and vegetable stew) rasam (tomato, tamarind, and lentil soup)are all from the South.
Cooking Circles volunteer Anna White spoke to Narelle Happ about her passion for bush tucker, gardening, and community.
Narelle Happ is well known to Cooking Circles after running some workshops in Canberra on bush tucker.
Narelle studied permaculture, horticulture and landscape design. She is a permaculture teacher and works as a landscape designer for Sydney Wildflower Nursery, a native a specialist nursery. She also works as an educator in seed raising, garden design, citrus fruit, pruning, permaculture, composting and worm farming.
I’ll be sharing the best of the best recipes from Cooking Circles at Lake Night Learning in Belconne, ACT. Commencing Wednesday 18th October and running for 6 weeks, you’ll be taken on a global tour with seasonal ingredients from our Canberra region.
I am determined to break my fixation with plastic bags and plastic stuff. That statistic I heard somewhere. sometime last year might be vague in context but has been wedged deep in my brain ever since – every piece of plastic ever produced still exists in some form. A lot of plastic, right?
If plastic were not a man(woman)made material then having something stick around for generations would be a good thing. But the only materials and objects that should become permanent pieces of our natural surrounds should, I think, be natural.
It’s great to be back and seeing in a new year, slowly. I’m still moving at a Carribean pace, and thinking fondly and what has been a magical wedding and honeymoon over December and January. Magical truly is the word! But on with the show….
Cooking Circles has started the year by organising a fun workshop with local Canberra restaurant, Pod Food. On a whim I contacted Sam of Pod Food via social media late last year, after Circles volunteer Michele ran a packed restaurant event with Taste of Bangladesh in Manuka. Sam’s idea of an outdoor paella gathering at their restaurant on a summer night sold Michele and I, and the workshop sold out in under a week. Our paella sess will go ahead this Wednesday with 30 women from many different walks of life.
To say I was excited when I first heard about Food Plant Solutions is quite the understatement. Through Canberra Friends of Dili of which I’m a casual member, I was contacted by a fellow member who suggested I speak to Karalyn of Food Plant Solutions in Tasmania. There were synergies, she explained, with my interests in Timor Leste and its vast edible plant diversity. And it didn’t take me long on this mob’s fascinating website before I was contacting Karalyn to talk more.
What is food security? To be food secure is to always have access to sufficient, nutritious, and affordable food. Food security covers the dimensions of time, place, quantity, quality, and cost. To be food insecure is to be lacking at least one of these components. Food insecurity can lead to malnutrition, stunted growth in children, and ill-health. In Timor Leste, two-thirds of the population are food insecure.