Free to Feed Summer Feasts

Wed 24th January, 2024 – Fri 1st March, 2024
Free to Feed
205-211 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North
Price: $55–$65
Celebrate the flavours of Persian, Levantine, Afghan and Northern and Eastern African cuisine with family-style dishes. Plus, there'll be traditional live music to set the mood.

Melbourne-based social enterprise Free to Feed is back with a new instalment of its much-loved Summer Feast series. Celebrating the flavours of Persian, Levantine, Afghan and Northern and Eastern African cuisines over four separate events, the team will pay tribute to the recipes, culture and stories of alumni cooks and people they’ve worked with along the way. Plus, enjoy traditional live music for the first time at each feast.

Persian Summer Feasts
Wed January 24, 6:30pm–9:30pm
Thurs January 25, 6:30pm–9:30pm

To kick off the series, enjoy a Persian feed by chefs Tayebeh, Nassim and Shanaz, exploring the mountainous regions of Iran. Expect family-style plates including entrees such as Persian pickles, kashk bademjan (eggplant dip with fermented yoghurt), spinach dip, hummus and flatbread. For mains, expect sabzi polo ba mahi (herbed rice with barramundi and tamarind sauce), pomegranate salad and vegetable kebab shamy. On the sweeter side of things, there’s qottab (pistachio-filled pastry pockets) and baslogh – a traditional Persian sweet with rosewater and coconut.

Afghan Summer Feasts
Thurs February 1, 6:30pm–9:30pm
Fri February 2, 6:30pm–9:30pm

Free to Feed chefs Firooza, Nazifa and Laila’s Afghan menu begins with bolani (flatbread stuffed with potatoes and herbs), nokhod shor (sour chickpeas with potatoes and chilli) and pakawra (battered and fried spiced potatoes) with chutney. Main dish highlights include kabuli pulao with lamb, carrots and almonds; ashak (chive and leek dumplings); and Afghan salad. For dessert, enjoy kado halwae (pumpkin halva) served with vanilla ice-cream; gosh-e-fil (fried pastries dusted with sugar); and saffron tea.

Levantine Summer Feasts
Thurs February 8, 6:30pm–9:30pm
Fri February 9, 6:30pm–9:30pm

Travel to the Levant region – bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea – with chefs Huda, Shadi and Aheda. Start with za’atar served with flatbread, cherry tomatoes and olive oil; dolma; babaganoush; and bastourma (cured spiced beef filled with cheese and herbs). For mains, enjoy a seasonal vegetable salad; chicken musakhan with sumac onions and pine nuts; stuffed white zucchini with beef mince; mujadara (braised spiced rice with lentils); and lubia (braised green beans). On the dessert menu expect knafeh and rose and walnut baklava.

North & East African Summer Feasts
Thurs February 29, 6:30pm–9:30pm
Fri March 1, 6:30pm–9:30pm

To round off the series, get a taste of Egypt, Morocco, Somalia and Eritrea. For starters there's sambusa with spiciy chilli sauce; besara (fava bean dip) with pita bread; and babaganoush. Then, move onto hearty mains like okra braise, injera (fermented flatbread), tomato and eggplant salad and rice topped with almonds, fried onions and sultanas. Dessert calls for Moroccan doughnuts and seasonal fruit served with chai.