The Refugee Mobile Kitchen pop up at Oasis Cardiff – Friday 2 November 2018

Lia from Lia’s Kitchen is bending our ear about a new monthly Cardiff food pop up – with a difference. It’s truly international!

Something really tasty is going on in Splott on Friday 2 November, and on the first Friday of every month from now on! The Oasis Cardiff Refugee Mobile Kitchen is popping-up in the charity’s car park on 69b Splott Road to offer us authentic street food options from around the globe. All the food will be served from a beautiful food trailer and (mostly) by the same people whose recipes have been turned into the street food dishes you will be tasting.

For me the Oasis Refugee Mobile Kitchen helps redefine authentic, world food at our Cardiff doorstep. Its menus to date have showcased Korean, middle-eastern, Albanian and Iranian dishes (to name a few). Dishes on offer include the popular filo pastry pies with crunchy slaw, inspired by two characterful Albanian ladies often volunteering in the Oasis Kitchen, will be on the menu. Kookoo Sabzi, an Iranian frittata bursting with aromatic herbs, made its debut last month and was a great success. It is the favourite dish of one of the key members of the Oasis Cardiff kitchen team, Mohammed. Falafel wraps, inspired by the many cultures sharing their culinary identity, are delivered by Matt Davenport in a delicious recipe with homemade flat breads. Huda’s Sudanese meatballs, one of the most popular dishes of the kitchen so far, always made a return to my delight. And my Hibiscus lemonade, inspired by Reynette Roberts’ (Charity Director) love of hibiscus, is a staple you can always enjoy during those nights.

Kookoo Sabzi – one of many dishes offered on the changing menu

The menu of the Refugee Mobile Kitchen is inspired by the people, who work, volunteer and are supported by Oasis Cardiff.  It comes from its own kitchen, the heart of the charity and where a lot of the people supported by it, find solace, a warm welcome, hope, encouragement and appetite for their new life. I know this well as during the months of April and May 2018, I worked with some of these amazing people to record their recipes and create a menu for the Refugee Mobile Kitchen’s first outing at the Festival of Voice. The first trial event, which inspired the monthly Refugee Kitchen Pop-ups, took place back in May 2018 at the charity’s carpark and it was such a success it had to be follow up on a monthly basis. The process of identifying and showcasing foods of the wonderful team of refugees, asylum seekers and Oasis staff was life-affirming. We weighed, chatted, tasted and wrote everything down. But our work is much more than creating a catering menu. We are taking a snapshot of Cardiff’s existing and emerging culinary heritage.

One of the things that makes me happy about the Oasis Cardiff Refugee Mobile Kitchen is that it has consciously chosen to start its culinary adventure at home in Splott. Splott, unlike other areas of Cardiff, has not had a regular street food event for years. The reception of the pop-ups within the local community is heart-warming – in fact it was local community members who asked for it to be repeated. I am really proud of the legacy of my collaboration with Oasis Cardiff through the Festival of Voice – it is ethical to its core. I am proud that Oasis Cardiff is not just running immediately where the crowds already are, even though it will soon have to venture out to let even more people taste its delights and support its food venture. But most importantly, I am proud it is starting a new food event in an area of Cardiff often overlooked.  And in doing so it provides an engagement for many of the people it supports on a daily basis.

The Oasis Food Trailer Team at First Trial Event (C) Dan Green.jpg

So, as our beautiful city of Cardiff is compact and accessible, why not take a walk, jump on your bikes, share a lift and get your friends and family over to Oasis Cardiff’s car park. Join me to taste some amazing food, hang-out with great people, and speak to the people whose food you are eating and lives are helping change. The track will be at 69B Splott Road, CF24 2BW from 6.30 till 10pm. And if the weather turns bad there is shelter inside the charity so you really have no excuses! See you there.

Lia Moutselou runs Lia’s Kitchen, an ethical food venture inspired by sustainability, Greek cuisine and world flavours.  Her pop-ups, cooking classes and recipes have gained traction in Cardiff Wales since 2013. Lia’s recipes and food focus on seasonal, ethical and nutritional food, whilst the projects she works on showcase world flavours and global food cultures spreading a message of integration. Lia helped set up and deliver their first Oasis Cardiff Refugee Mobile Kitchen at Festival of Voice 2018.  Follow Lia’s Kitchen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for recipes, pop-ups and food stories.

Oasis Cardiff is an organisation that aims to help Refugees and Asylum Seekers to integrate into their local community in Cardiff. The charity provides daily lunches for refugees and asylum seekers, women only sessions, craft sessions and language classes as well as a range of other activities. It celebrated its 10th birthday on 2 October 2018. Follow Oasis Cardiff on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular update of all their food and other ventures.

Find out more about Oasis Cardiff Refugee Mobile Kitchen and the charity’s other food ventures, including how to book catering by Oasis by contacting Matt Davenport, matt@oasiscardiff.org, 07814090614.

Volunteer at the Oasis Cardiff Kitchen to help the team deliver their daily kitchen lunches which feed approximate 150 people every day. To express your interested contact Matt, matt@oasiscardiff.org, 07814090614.

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