The food scene in Western Sydney is firing. From Indian fine dining in Harris Park to Granville’s own Little Lebanon and much-loved Vietnamese stalwarts in Cabramatta, there’s plenty to unearth in the western suburbs.
The suburb’s rich and fast-burgeoning food scene is something that Cumberland Council wants to promote, so it's partnered with the Auburn Small Community Organisation Network (ASCON), House of Welcome and local businesses to launch Flavours of Auburn for anyone keen to dive deeper into the Auburn’s culinary offering.
Beyond its sensorial pleasures, most people have now cottoned onto food’s many other superpowers, from uniting people, to deepening awareness and understanding of cultures, to celebrating diversity. Flavours of Auburn hopes to achieve all of these things, as well as launch Cumberland as a food and cultural hotspot.
By introducing both locals and visitors to the region’s hearty foodscape, it aims to “promote cross-cultural understanding and community harmony through sharing culture at a social event,” explains Adama Kamara, Cumberland Council’s acting manager of community development and planning.
It started as a food-sampling event but these days, Flavours of Auburn wears many cultural hats. For starters, the not-for-profit runs cooking classes on the diverse cuisines available in the multicultural neighbourhood.
“Our community cooks welcome participants into their kitchen and teach them how to make delicious dishes from their home countries such as Ethiopia, Iran, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan,” Kamara explains. “Participants learn how to cook new recipes from scratch and share a dinner feast at the end of the evening.”
Dietary considerations are all catered for in the popular tutorials, such as vegan and halal requirements.
Then there’s the food-tours arm of the enterprise, which aims to introduce people to the cultures of small and emerging communities in the Cumberland area.
“Our community cooks welcome participants into their kitchen and teach them how to make delicious dishes from their home countries such as Ethiopia, Iran, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.”
This is where locals guide participants through the streets of Auburn’s town centre and they can sample the foods of local businesses. From edible treasures tucked deep into arcades to the migration stories of some of the suburb’s oldest restaurateurs, the three-hour tours offer a glimpse into how each operator contributes to the vibrant community.
“Participants will be provided with a shopping bag, a Flavours of Auburn cooking book, a tour itinerary and other relevant information,” says Kamara.
Community banquets also happen from time to time, where guests are invited to feast on cuisines from Shanghai, India, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea and Iran, to name a few of the regions covered.
All proceeds from the cooking classes and food tours go towards covering project costs and are re-invested into expanding the project further.
To find out more about Flavours of Auburn’s upcoming food tours and classes, visit its website.