When I heard about A Taste of Harmony, I jumped at the chance at organising International Food Day at work.
After a very busy work week we all gathered around the Boardroom table and enjoyed some of the tastiest food from all over the world. We all walked away with full stomachs and an appreciation for the diversity that exist in our workplace. This will certainly be a tradition at work, for many years to come.
Here are some food highlights.
Liisa's version of Voileipakakku (Savoury Cake made with bread, sour cream cream cheese and smoked salmon). This was an eye catching dish.
Macri's Pasta Forno. This was Cathrine's first time making this dish. I must say she did an excellent job. It was full of hearty meatballs in a rich and cheesy tomato based sauce.
Mama Goh's Malaysian Chicken Curry. It was the first time I tasted a Malaysian version of a chicken curry. It was absolutely delicious.
Susan Lee's Beef Rendang was amazing. Big spicy chunks of beef with a rich gravy. It was like an explosion in your mouth.
Mama Calvisi's Italian Style Meatballs. All 60 of them. This was a hearty moist meatball in a tomato sauce.
KC's Chicken Enchiladas. Mexican food is great. This was really tasty. It was full of chicken pieces covered in a layer gooey melted cheese.
Anna Gare is part of the trio behind the Lifestyle Food Channels “The Best in Australia. She is one of Australia best female chefs. She is also one of the Ambassadors for A Taste of Harmony. She answers a few of my questions regarding A Taste of Harmony and growing up in a country rich in cultural diversity.
1. When did you discover your passion for cooking?
We lived in an old church that was being renovated by Dad (slowly), so for years we had a temporary kitchen. From a young age I was allowed to cook and make a mess in it.
For my 11th birthday all I wanted was a proper kitchen, so Dad finished it and I prepared a dinner party for 11 guests - steak, coleslaw and potatoes!
2. How has Australia’s cultural diversity influenced your cooking style?
Getting to the other side of Australia a bit later in life was a real eye opener for me. It was so exciting to see all the Greek, Italian and Vietnamese food shops, restaurants and deli's. My passion for combining world flavours had begun!
As an adult, I have enjoyed travelling through smaller regions where the people have stayed with their traditions, both culinary and cultural. Travelling through Italy, I was so blown away by the food and people. We could all learn a lot from some of the smaller regional areas were the people have honest and simple approaches to growing and eating food.
3. A Taste of Harmony is all about bringing people together, in your opinion what will be the perfect dish to do this?
4. Some people shy away from trying food from different cultures? What advice would you give to encourage them to try it?
5. As a mum, how do you make sure that your kids are aware of Australia’s Cultural abundance?
Food has always been my passion, and I am grateful to live in a multicultural society where we can constantly broaden our cultural knowledge through food. As a young girl I remember admiring the local Italians and how their passion for food was in the preparation - for them food was not a chore, it was more of a ritual. We grew up eating simple good food, and I want to continue that.
6. Why do you think it’s important to get workplaces involved with A Taste Of Harmony?
It's a good excuse for a nosh-up and to share food by the people who know it the best! Besides, everyone loves eating! It shows appreciation for our culinary heritage and that of other people and places.
7. Do you have any advice on hosting a successful ATOH Lunch?
Visit the A Taste of Harmony website, http://www.tasteofharmony.org.au/ to get suggestions of how people celebrated last year, look at their event photos, and share delicious recipes!
Make sure to check out the Taste of Harmony website for delicious recipe ideas and suggestions on how you can have your own International Day at work.