Great food has the power to unite people all over the world – and it can especially bring communities together in a time of need. Which is why Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is giving back to a neighborhood impacted by tragedy by supporting a community kitchen that popped up to serve victims of London’s devastating Grenfell Tower fire last year. As her first solo project as a royal, Meghan wrote the forward to a new cookbook called, Together: Our Community Kitchen.
The Hubb Community Kitchen was all started when a group of women whose community was affected the deadly 2017 Grenfell Tower fire came together at a communal kitchen at the Al Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre in West London. All proceeds from sales of their new recipe collection will be donated back to the Kitchen to keep its work going.
“Our kitchen has always been a place of good food, love, support and friendship,” the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen wrote in the cookbook introduction. “We cook the recipes we’ve grown up with; there’s no stress, and the recipes always work because they have been made so many times – it’s proper comfort food… Swapping family recipes and moments of laughter gave us a sense of normality and home. We named ourselves the Hubb Community Kitchen to celebrate the thing that we all feel every time we meet – hubb means love in Arabic.”
Many of the over 50 diverse and mouth-watering recipes in this book including delightful-sounding Persian chicken with barberry rice, green chili and avocado dip, spiced mint tea, coconut chicken curry, eggplant masala, and more have been passed down through multiple generations, and now they can be part of all of our homemade cuisines.
Members of the British royal family celebrated the book’s launch together with guests from the Community Kitchen at a special party at Kensington Palace. Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland and her husband Prince Harry were close by to celebrate the beautiful moment.
“The power of food is more than just the meal itself — it is the story behind it. And when you get to know the story of the recipe, you get to know the person behind it,” the Duchess shared via an official Kensington Palace statement. “To the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen, thank you so much for allowing me to be part of this adventure with you. I am so privileged to know you. I’m so excited to see the projects you’re going to continue to do in your own community, the community at large, and also how you’re going to inspire people globally by sharing your stories and your recipes.”
Meghan has only called London her home for only a few months now, but she is already deeply connected to the city’s people and important issues.
“I immediately felt connected to this community kitchen; it is a place for women to laugh, grieve, cry and cook together,” the Duchess said. “Melding cultural identities under a shared roof, it creates a space to feel a sense of normalcy – in its simplest form, the universal need to connect, nurture, and commune through food, through crisis or joy – something we can all relate to… Through this charitable endeavor, the proceeds will allow the kitchen to thrive and keep the global spirit of community alive.”
You can pick up your own copy of Together: Our Community Kitchen, on Amazon now.