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Recipe book brings real flavour of city

By James Vukmirovic | Wolverhampton | Dining out | Published:

A love of cooking among a city's migrant community has helped to produce a unique cookbook.

Gill Kelly, from Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary has produced a cookbook called "Food without borders", which she collected from migrants and asylum seekers working with the sanctuary and in association with the Refugee and Migrant centre. She is pictured with Hamia Boutarik who contributed to the book

“Food without Borders” is a special cookbook created from a collaboration between a number of agencies working with refugees and asylum seekers in Wolverhampton.

The Refugee and Migrant Centre, Hope Projects and City of Sanctuary Wolverhampton have worked with services users to create an eclectic mix of foods from around the world.

The idea for the book came from City of Sanctuary vice chair Gill Kelly, who said she had been speaking about cooking with a couple of members of the sanctuary.

She said: "I've been thinking about something like this for a long time and have collected a large number of recipes.

"I got talking to people helping at the drop in centre and they were enthusiastic about it, so when lockdown came, they suggested doing the book as part of refugee week in June.

"I eventually had the conversation with people at the Refugee and Migrant Centre and we agreed to put something together, which is how we got the recipe book."

All of the recipes featured in the book are from volunteers, staff and users of the different services and reflect on their heritage or the countries they left to come to the UK.

These include Welsh cakes, an Ethiopian beef stew called Quanta Firfir, a Puerto Rican lasagne-type dish called Pastelon de Amarillos and stuffed vine leaves from Syria.

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Gill said the book was a nice way to bring people together to celebrate different cultures.

She said: "It was initially to publicise cooking and show the ways food can bring people together, but it's also very particular to different cultures.

"We have some really lovely people who are very creative at cooking and it acts for a lot of them as a type of therapy and keeps them same.

"It also ties in with our allotment project as a lot of the gardeners are cooks and have contributed to this book, so it brings everyone together.

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"There's a really good foodie vibe throughout all three organisations."

Food without Borders is set to go on sale, with proceeds going to The Refugee and Migrant Centre, Hope Projects and City of Sanctuary Wolverhampton.

To find out more about the book and about City of Sanctuary Wolverhampton, go to wolverhampton.cityofsanctuary.org

James Vukmirovic

By James Vukmirovic
Community Reporter - @jamesvukmirovic

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Wolverhampton. Contact me at james.vukmirovic@expressandstar.co.uk.

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