CAVC celebrates the Capital's culturally diverse cuisine with BAWSO
Cardiff and Vale College has joined BAWSO, THE Cardiff based, pan-Wales support organisation for black and minority ethnic (BME) women to produce a cookbook that will celebrate the diversity of food in the Welsh capital region.
BAWSO offers a range of advice, support and shelter, across Wales to women who are affected by domestic abuse and other serious issues including trafficking, to BME women across Wales.
The idea for the book came from Janet Scicluna, an award winning Business Adviser, following discussions with Mutale Merrill, MBE, Chief Executive of BAWSO.
“However, this is a big project and we discussed approaching a partner to join the project,” said Janet. “Following my contact with Cardiff and Vale College, Darren Greenland, CAVC’s Development Officer and Hospitality Lecturer, responded positively. Darren has been so supportive and enthusiastic and offered his assistance together with the opportunity to use College facilities to test recipes.”
The first of these recipe testing sessions has taken place when one of the BAWSO’s Support workers joined Darren and Janet on site at the college’s professional kitchen.
“It’s a great example of the importance the College places in working in collaboration with the local community,” Darren explained. “BAWSO want to put together an ethnic cookbook. This is not your usual cookbook - the recipes are the ones that the women use themselves, with dishes from Libya, the Sudan, India, Turkey as well as possibly some Chinese and Indonesian dishes. We are still gathering.”
“The book will also include recipes from Hospitality and Catering staff and students. We also want to get some of the College’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) involved to make it a College-wide project.”
“Having tasted some of the cooking by BAWSO women, this reinforced the idea,” Janet said. “Working with Darren and to have the college’s support is wonderful. We believe this is going to be something special – it won’t be your ordinary cookery book.”
An important contributor to the project is Vilas Kerrai, a senior support worker at BAWSO. Among the recipes being tested for inclusion in the book are those of Vilas whose love and expertise of creating delicious dishes adds the all-important ingredient to the mix.
“I was invited to take part in the creation of the book because I do a lot of the catering for BAWSO,” Vilas said. “I’ve always said we need to do something with food and fortunately Janet came up with the idea of a cookery book: we knew we had the products but we didn’t really know what to do with them.”
“It’s my vision to promote home cooking – there’s so much diverse food around. A lot of the time people don’t know what to do with vegetables. I’m vegetarian and I can share my knowledge. The partnership with the College is really good – it’s great to work with the youngsters and to introduce these recipes to them. All the recipes are quick and easy – they look good and they taste good.”
“My recipes are authentic Indian recipes. When you go to an Indian restaurant the food has been adapted for a western palate but these recipes have not – this is the real thing.”