By Grant J Everett and Warren Heggarty
You may have heard about Cooking For One, the cookbook produced in the kitchens of Flourish Australia’s Buckingham House.
Well now chef Amanda Perkins and the Cooking Group have taken it to the next level with a cultural cookbook called the Health and Harmony Cookbook.
‘Some of the people in our groups have not had the advantage yet of having travelled overseas, or having gone to Uni to study other cultures.’ says Buck House manager Donna Shrubsole. ‘The cultural cooking group is not just about food, not just about nutrition, it’s about the cultures of the various societies who produced the food as well, for instance, Vietnamese, Syrian and so forth, and it’s done in a social environment.’
In the Friday groups upon which the book is based, Chef Amanda gets everyone involved in every aspect of these social and culinary events. Every participant brings skills of their own to the group and these skills have all be part of the process of putting the book together.
‘Each Friday we travel to a new country on a plate’ says Amanda.
Of course, The Health and Harmony Cookbook can function as a facilitator’s handbook so that people involved in similar groups (or who want to start one up!) can use the book as a launchpad.
‘I am incredibly proud of the people who come to the group’ said a glowing Amanda.
No cookbook would be complete without lavish photography and the photographer just happens to be Georgia Shrubsole (we think she might be Donna’s daughter- small word after all!)
The Palace catering
Speaking of which, Buckingham House has a restaurant (famous throughout Flourish Australia) called The Palace which has for a long time done catering on the side for special events. Of no exception were the recent graduations at Harris Park and Marrickville.
Another recent job was the Another Door Opens Art Exhibition. Amanda was particularly proud to say that the catering there was drawn from the Friday Cultural Cooking Groups.
Did you know that The Palace is staffed by members of Buckingham House as supported employees? This is yet another way that Flourish Australia provides opportunities for people to gain experience to help them return to the workforce.
If you are a Flourish Australia staff member, you can find Amanda’s previous project Cooking for One on the share drive of your computer.
Otherwise, if you are interested in Health and Harmony Cookbook, contact Donna Shrubsole, manager at Buckingham House.
Flourish Australia Buckingham
House, 43-45 Buckingham
Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
1300 779 270