Tag Archives: lias kitchen

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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All you need is … a love-inspired recipe for Saint Dwynwen’s Day!

To celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day on 25 January this week, we’ve invited Lia from Lia’s Kitchen to create a love inspired recipe for us …  

Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers, and to celebrate this very time of the year when love is in the air (if “love” means hanging out inside eating and drinking lovely things because it’s cold outside) we encourage you to follow this recipe for Greek chocolate-coated caramel almonds … excuse us while we wipe the drool off the floor …

All you need is love… and Greek chocolate-coated, caramel almonds

Love is all you need! At these times when our world is going through global change on a large scale it is really important to celebrate love and all that is good around us. I hope a small, sweet treat will help you shift your mood to happy. This is my easy and delicious recipe for Greek chocolate and caramel coated almonds – a sweet something to help make it all better.

chocolate-caramel-almonds

My excuse to celebrate love (and chocolate) is our own Welsh Lady patron of love, St Dwynwen. We have a lady for our love angel here people, how is that for woman power? Even though St Dwynwen’s story is a sad one (she never got the chance to be with the love of her life) she seems to have remained a beacon of hope and positivity. Her most famous saying is: ‘Nothing wins hearts like cheerfulness.’

So, I invite you to use St Dwynwen’s day (25 January) as an opportunity to think about all the things you love in this world and to show your love to all those important to you, as early as three weeks before Valentine’s day! Love your friends, your family, that special hunk or goddess in your life. Love your community, your environment, the good things in this world, like millions of people coming together to send messages of grounded positivity and strength to each other through the global marches in January 2017. And, of course love good sustainable food!

My recipe for chocolate and caramel salted almonds is an all-time Greek favourite. It is easy and quick to make as a token of love and appreciation to those you love (including yourself). You can have so much fun with this recipe by mixing various nuts and seeds, and even dried fruit together. You can use different specialty salts and spices to add your own bespoke flavour. And it is a healthy snack too (if not abused). Below is my basic recipe using almonds. Enjoy!

Ingredients (makes 12 chocolate almond bites)

  • 100g dark chocolate (or chocolate of your choice)
  • ½ tsp coconut oil (optional)
  • 140g almonds
  • Halen Mon vanilla salt (optional)
  • Salt Odyssey smoked salt (optional)
  • Zest of one mandarin
  • Pinch of allspice
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 5 tbsp. water
  • Baking paper

Preparation (2 hours including chilling time)

  1. In a non-stick pan roast the almonds in medium heat until slightly browned. Then take off the heat.
  2. Mix the water, icing sugar and a pinch of your preferred specialty salt in a small cup (if using) and pour over the almonds. Stir mix well and return to medium heat until they are caramelised.
  3. Prepare your bain-marie to melt the chocolate, by adding boiling water to a pot, placing it on a hob (medium heat) and placing a heat resistant glass bowl (Pyrex) on top. The bottom of the pot should not touch the water.
  4. Add the chocolate broken in small pieces and stir until it melts. Add another pinch of the second specialty salt in the chocolate, if you are using salt.
  5. Add the almonds to the chocolate mixture, remove the bowl from the bain-marie, and set aside to cool down for a few minutes.
  6. Layer a baking sheet with some baking paper (non-stick).
  7. Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture on the baking paper until the mixture finishes.
  8. Grate the zest of one mandarin on top of the chocolate almond bites. Add a pinch of ground all spice over the chocolate bites, if you are using spices.
  9. Chill the chocolate almond bites for at least two hours, preferably in the fridge.
  10. You can wrap the chocolate almond bites in (coloured) aluminium foil to preserve freshness, particularly if you are making more than one batch.
  11. You can use a mixture of nuts, hazelnuts and pistachio nuts work really well. The ratio of nuts to chocolate is almost 1 unit of chocolate to 1.4 of nuts. If you are using dried fruit you can double the amount.
  12. Occasionally, I add a hint of mandarin juice or rum or cognac in the melted choc for that extra layer of flavour.

To find out more about more about Greek food join one of Lia’s Kitchen intimate cooking classes on 3 and 10 February. Lia will be introducing participants to Greek Kitchen basics but will also be sharing Greek flavours and recipes that are not yet widely known in the UK. You can book online here or contact Lia for more information at lia@liaskitchen.com.

Lia Moutselou mugshot

Lia Moutselou is a self-taught chef who has lived in the UK and abroad for the past twenty years. She runs Lia’s Kitchen and through it pop-up food events, cooking classes and social enterprise projects around the world. She inspired by Greek food, sustainability and world flavours, from her second home of Wales and places she has lived at and visited over the past two decades. For more information visit her Lia’s Kitchen website.

Meet Lia on social media: Lia’s Kitchen Facebook  /  @LiasKitchen  /   Lia’s Kitchen Instagram.

Want to find out more about St Dwynwen’s Day, including how to download this awesome card? Head for the Visit Wales website

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Dolma-licious! Learn to roll dolma with Lia’s Kitchen, Saturday 18 April 2015

We’ve long been supporters of Lia’s Kitchen here at We Are Cardiff – she champions great food and has fed our hungover heads many times.

And on Saturday 18 April, Lia is running her first workshop! It will cover rolling Dolma, vine leaf rice wraps. The half day workshop between 11am and 2pm includes lunch, drinks and refreshments and your own takeaway dolma. Tasty!

This is Lia. Read the interview we did with her last year: Invite to Lia’s Kitchen

As a special We Are Cardiff treat, we’ve got a discount code for our readers who’d like to attend the dolma workshop! Go through the booking link below and use the code MATESRATES

We hope you enjoy the class! Bring us back a dolma, would you?
liaskitchenworkshop

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Invite to Lia’s Kitchen – a ‘not-so-Greece food affair’, Saturday 27 September

Lia’s Kitchen has been doing pop-up supperclubs around the city of Cardiff (and beyond!) over the last couple of years. I accosted Lia for a quick chat and to ask her about her upcoming event on Saturday 27 September – a ‘not-so-Greece food affair’.

Lia's kitchen mugshot

Q. Give us a little background about yourself
A.
I am Lia, an iterant Greek, and have lived in Cardiff for 13 years. I have at least two homes in my heart and feel at home everywhere. I love nature and all creative expression whilst I feel most free when dancing and singing, inside or by the sea or on a (real) mountain.

In my day job I work on water policy issues for the statutory water consumer watchdog. In my free time I sometimes write, and most importantly I run Lia’s Kitchen with the invaluable help of my friends and through collaborations with independent food businesses, such as the Penylan Pantry, MADE Gallery, and Natalie Eddins who used to run The Pot café.

Q. How did you end up in Cardiff, and how come you’ve stayed here?
A. My connection to Wales dates back to my postgraduate degree in Environmental Law in Aberystwyth. After a research year in Italy, I returned to Wales in 2002, to Cardiff in particular, to seek a research position and further research qualifications at Cardiff University. I worked at a coastal management project and taught Environmental Law. I loved teaching (miss it to this day), made wonderful friends and in 2006 at the tail end of my PhD process I settled down in Roath, in my own house.

My life took a dark turn that year when my beloved partner at the time, Tom Woollam, passed away. It was impossible to lock myself up to write up my PhD thesis and my priorities in life changed drastically. In October 2007 I gave myself one year in Cardiff, I did not want to run away from it but I also promised to myself I would not ‘bury’ myself in a place that was no longer suitable to be my home. In October 2008 I burst into life gratefully receiving every activity and offering that Cardiff had to give me, I really felt like I was rediscovering the city and myself.

My decision to stay in Cardiff was not based on logic, but I did not drift into it. I am not a work or love immigrant, although I found love again in the shape of a tall, friendly local photographer. This city has become home in such a subtle way that even when I feel I’ve had enough I want to find a way to at least have a part time base here. I love the people, the small distances, the parks, the pace of life. I love how Cardiff, despite its limitations, still offers itself to us as a blank canvas (so long as we don’t get dragged into navel gazing and perpetual old moans). Cardiff is my second home.

PantrySupperClub_15

Q. Tell us about your history with food.
A. For me food and cooking are more than a survival skill or hobby. It might have something to do with my upbringing but food has always been at centre stage. We always were made aware of nutritional value and the importance of a balanced diet. I believe that food is love and appetite for food shows curiosity for life.

I think food and the act of preparing it are more than preventing our stomachs from rumbling. At difficult times cooking together helps overcome communication barriers – it can help transform difficult situations to nurturing and healing moments. When in celebration the act of gathering at the table seems the most intimate and meaningful. When in far away places, cooking and sharing food overcomes language barriers and awkwardness – people open their doors to you to share food. And then of course food and discovery of recipes is a way of travelling, understanding cultures and identifying similarities amongst them.

Lia’s Kitchen is about all those things. I want to create dinners that offer indulgent but healthy dishes, I want people to leave an event having met someone new or having learnt a new thing about their friend, I want people to discover new tastes and music, and at the end of the night to leave with a feeling of contentment and excitement.

Business card template

 

Q. What’s the most memorable meal or eating experience you’ve ever had?
A. That’s hard to answer and hard to pick. So here is a recent highlight.

Last year on my birthday we organised a meal for 40 people at Jacob’s Market. My friends and I cooked tirelessly and then towards the end of the night Dan had to pull me out of the kitchen. Forty people who had just eaten my food sang happy birthday to me, and Zoe, of Bird to Market, presented me with a delicious pomegranate and feta birthday cheesecake! This is the best birthday I have had in a very long time and the best cake that anyone has ever made for me. I felt like I turned 30 again!

Q. What inspired you to start Lia’s Kitchen?
A. My friends. My real friends see things that I don’t and they don’t just hand me a drink or pat me on the back. The urge me to be all the positive things they see in me and love to push me out of my comfort zones. And so it was that one sunny day on a road trip to the Gower, my friends Becci Lynch, Elpida Sarvani and my boyfriend Dan Green, started talking about Lia’s Kitchen as a brand, a blog and a food venture. I listened, got enthused and a week later an outline Lia’s Kitchen appeared on my ‘ideas’ notice board.

Lia’s Kitchen started as a blog to record recipes and to tell stories of gathering. Oh how I rambled until I found my own format to write a recipe. Eventually, I felt the urge to cook for others outside my home. And so Lia’s Kitchen started popping up as a guest cook at various locations to create unique gatherings and menus. A new page has been turned. I am now moving on to designing my first cooking classes and offer bespoke menu design, cooking lessons and recipes on demand.

It is still the beginning for me and a year ago I never imagined there could be such a strong movement of pop-ups, supper clubs and food ventures. I feel encouraged and not the least antagonised by all these amazing entrepreneurs. I feel very lucky to live during what I consider the most significant period of food in history – a real food revolution. I am proud to be part of it.

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PantrySupperClub_16 PantrySupperClub_08

Q. Tell us a little about the events that you are holding over the 27 – 28 September 2014 weekend
A. Lia’s Kitchen is holding two events showcasing Greek cuisine on 27 and 28 September at Penylan Pantry. The first event is a unique dining experience where our guests will be allocated Olympian and Roman deity identities for a night. And the second day is a cooking class! I am very excited that we are launching our first cooking class and I am so happy to be working , for both events, with the wonderful Penylan Pantry, a thriving independent business growing from strength to strength.

On 27 September the menu is inspired by delicacies from my homeland but I have aimed to include dishes for which many have different cultural references. It will be a kind Greek menu with a multi-culti twist. I can reveal it includes homemade vine leaf dolma, tomato fritters and the amazing cake of cakes, Revani.

On 28 September everyone that joins us will learn how to make dolma, the infamous vine leaf rice parcel. This will be a process of communal cooking. And we will also share a light evening dinner amongst the class participants.

You can get more information and book a place at our table here:
http://liaskitchen.com/upcoming-events/

Q. Finally, give us a cooking tip that will make all our lives better in the kitchen!
A. You don’t need to wash mushrooms! For chestnut and cup mushrooms remove the stem, and peel the mushroom skin pulling from the stem cavity outwards. For oyster or wild mushrooms use a (new) soft toothbrush to get rid of the dirt.

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Thanks Lia! Contact Lia’s Kitchen on liaskitchen@gmail.com to be added to Lia’s event mailing list.

photo

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Street seen: a taste of childhood

street_seen_lia_web

“The meals that remind me of my childhood are pie and … eggy bread. Pie because we rolled filo with my grandmother on the sofra (low round table) sitting in a lotus posture and eggy bread because it’s the treat we had every Thursday for a meal – little did I know it was my poor working mom’s cheats supper on her 12 hour work days!”

As seen in: Roath

Visit Lia’s Kitchen

Photograph by Helia Phoenix