From March, the Gallery Café will be serving dishes from our Families of the World project.
At the end of our weekly play session, families, staff and volunteers all sit together to share a tasty meal. Our group welcomes people from around the globe, with a range of food preferences. The children that attend the sessions are all under 5, so our food needs to be healthy and delicious.
During the first year of the project, we tested out a range of cross-cultural foods, from ordering in Bolani breads from a local Afghanistan bakery to buying Gregg’s pizzas from across the road. As we have an on-site café, we were keen to work closely with the café team, to develop a menu that suited the tastes of our group, utilised our resources and that was sustainable. We also needed a menu that was affordable and helped make our Families of the World project visible to other gallery visitors.
To ensure we got our food offer right, we worked with Clare from Heart & Parcel; a Manchester-based food project that brings people together through cooking, sharing and learning English. Clare was tasked with developing a range of suitable dishes to be cooked by the Gallery Café team and served to families at the Families of the World project.
Four Heart and Parcel cooks were invited to cater for the group, cooking dishes using ingredients and ideas that had been discussed by the women from the group. Amazing Kurdish, Afghani, Pakistani and Syrian dishes were served to the families. Manchester Art Gallery chefs and café staff came to taste the food themselves and talk about which dishes could be recreated in the Gallery Café kitchen, whilst still maintaining the authenticity of the home cooked food.