Photographer, writer, and creator of Belly Full, Riaz Phillips has launched ‘Community Comfort’, an e-cookbook with recipes from over 100 cooks, chefs, and foodies from migrant backgrounds — and it’s all for a much-needed cause. All the proceeds raised by the e-cookbook will go towards helping bereaved healthcare colleagues and families of Black, Asian and Ethnic minority victims of coronavirus.
Community Comfort is full of dishes that feel like a warm and relaxing embrace, accompanied by anecdotes about comforting moments. Expect to find delicious recipes from some of greats in the food world, including beloved Bake-Off stars. There’s a leek linguine from food writer Ruby Tandoh and a chocolate fudge cake from author and food stylist Benji Ebuehi. Meanwhile, musician and vegan cook Denai Moore delivers a roasted pepper, ackee and seasoned rice recipe, and Great British Menu winner, James Cochran shares a buttermilk fried chicken recipe.
In a statement, Phillips shared his inspiration for creating the cookbook. “In this time of disarray, and when we can’t break bread with our loved ones, I wanted to do something which brought joy to as many people as possible. Food and recipes are how we connect, heal and mourn but also celebrate when things get better too,” he said.
It was clear early on in the pandemic that the virus was disproportionately affecting a number of marginalised groups in the UK. The first 10 doctors to die in the UK from COVID-19 were all from black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, and the government Covid-19 review on disparities in risks and outcomes showed that Black people were four times more likely to die of COVID-19 compared to white British people. Because of this Phillips was inspired to team up with social enterprise The Ubele Initiative to raise money for The Majonzi Fund, meaning “sorrow” in Swahili, launched with Windrush campaigner Patrick Vernon. The money raised from sales of the cookbooks will go towards funeral arrangements, bereavement counsellors, and therapists for BAME families affected by COVID-19 deaths.
As Phillips explained: “For people in our communities and migrant backgrounds, food is our colour when our voices don’t always get heard, so I gathered all these recipes in hope that they might speak to you and bring you some comfort whilst contributing something back to a community that has so been affected, proportionately more so, in the UK."
You can download your copy of Community Comfort here for a £10 minimum donation. Those who are able to donate more are encouraged to do so.