Food and Memory in collaboration with the Improving Lives Project

From March 2019, we worked with the Improving Lives Men’s project with Equality Action to facilitate food and memory cooking sessions. After engaging with the group and discussing which activities they would like to participate in, the group decided on cooking sessions.

Many participants had extensive experience working in ‘Indian’ Bangladeshi restaurants in the UK and in restaurants in Italy, and therefore had a lot of skills to showcase. The dishes evoked memories of working in Italy and the UK, migration, ‘home’ in Bangladesh and, particularly, tufabat – the practice of young people gathering together outdoors to cook and eat together in Bangladesh.

“There is 2 type of biriyani in Bangladesh. Sometimes one is called Kisuri. In different region is called different. In Sylhet we call it Kisuri, its mainly without meat it’s kind of vegetarian … My mum used to make it on a rainy day … [now] we follow Indian tradition (it’s all mixed up now). In Bangladesh we have a big chicken and eggs and the aroma is totally different. It’s become a kind of fusion”

– Interviewee