What role does food play in bringing cultures together?
Food is a very powerful thing. It is so much more than fuel. It encourages togetherness, enables us to pass down family recipes filled with stories that speak of our heritage. It is a joy to make a dish that has been in your family for generations, it’s like passing on a precious heirloom. It connects us to who we are, where we come from.
Why do you think it’s important to learn about and understand the different cultures of the people you work with?
Every culture brings something exciting to this melting pot of the world’s cuisine. How we eat, cook and our traditions speak of who we are. We are all different in so many ways, but so alike in how our food is such an integral fundamental need in our lives, not just to sustain us, but to promote togetherness, celebrate life, show love to each other and carry on traditions from years gone by.
Why should Australians get involved with A Taste of Harmony?
Australians should embrace A Taste of Harmony as it is a fantastic way to learn about each other’s unique and special cuisines. We are blessed to live in such an accepting place where so many cultures live together. We need to hold on to our heritage, and share it with others. It’s a way of really letting people understand our heritage, and welcome each other to our tables – that special place where everyone is happy with the joy of great food shared.
How has Australia’s diverse culture impacted on the foods you cook?
Understanding how your own family is different helps you appreciate how other cultures have their own traditions and certain ways that is integral to their way of life, how they keep their culture alive through the generations. It’s the little things that mean so much – and that keep traditions alive. It’s what makes us unique, it’s what links us to our ancestors, and helps out children know their identity.
Why is it important to continue to support A Taste of Harmony during the pandemic?
For me, Italian food is synonymous with laughter, togetherness and comfort. Australia is a melting pot of diverse cuisines that brings families and friends together, binds us to our heritage, and is how we give and experience joy with others. After so much time spent apart, I am so looking forward to being able to share meals with friends and family, to talk, laugh and give comfort through the simple act of eating together. What the past two years has shown is how important we are to each other, how much we have missed contact with one another, how something so simple as eating a meal together is integral to us as human beings. I feel privileged to be a part of Taste of Harmony’s passion to bring people together through food, to share our wonderful diversity and take pride in who each and every one of us are. This year, I feel, we need this more than ever.