The annual event raises funds for people seeking asylum, inviting Australians to hold fundraising feasts in their homes or workplaces, cooking recipes provided by refugees that celebrate the cuisines of their homelands. In 2019, its inaugural year, the event raised more than $100,000.
There are no rules for the dinner party; if nothing on the ASRC’s list takes your fancy, you can design your own menu or make the meal a cultural pot luck for your guests to bring their own traditional plates.
ASRC Catering chef Manel and cooking instructor Mahshid – both refugees who came to Australia – have shared traditional recipes from their home countries that people can access online and cook for the feasts. Manel’s Malaysian-Indian menu includes pakoda with sweet chilli sauce, green chilli chicken with coconut rice and sago pudding, while Mahshid draws on her Iranian heritage for dishes such as gheymeh bademjan (lamb, aubergine and split pea soup), Persian jewelled rice and sholeh zard, a traditional saffron rice pudding.
Melbourne chef Darren Purchese from dessert store Burch and Purchese and Masterchef runner-up Kishwar Chowdhury have also gifted their own recipes for feast hosts this year, and you can access favourites from previous years.
To host your own feast, register online. You’ll be sent a link to a fundraising page where your guests can RSVP. You’ll also receive a host kit in the mail with everything you need to set up your feast. There’s no admin involved – just cooking and eating.
The official feast weekend runs from Friday March 25 to Sunday March 27, but you can hold your own event anywhere, anytime between between Monday February 14 and April 30.
All funds raised through Feast for Freedom go to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, a not-for-profit that assists people seeking asylum with their food, housing and health-care needs, as well as providing advocacy, education and employment pathways. Its community meals program provides hot meals along with a sense of support for hundreds of people.
Raising $500 can help fund six months’ worth of primary care and prescriptions through the health clinic; $1000 can provide a year of food and groceries for a vulnerable family; and $1300 means three months of emergency housing for someone in need.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Find more recipes at Feast for Freedom and register to host a dinner in your home or workplace to help raise support for food, housing, medical care, education and employment.