A cookbook that will change lives

Group photo of volunteers who helped create the book Tastes of Home

A group of volunteers from AUT worked together to create a mouthwatering approach to supporting young people from refugee backgrounds to study at AUT.

‘Tastes of Home’ – a cookbook featuring family recipes and stories of AUT staff and students from migrant and refugee backgrounds – is available for $60 from the AUT shop, with all proceeds going towards a scholarship.

The idea for the cookbook came from Linda O’Neill, Head of School - Hospitality and Tourism and Deputy Dean - Culture and Society, with Diversity Manager Lian-Hong Brebner from Student Services and Administration and Professor Alison McIntosh from the School of Hospitality and Tourism as the driving force behind it.

The project was a year in the making, with the pair inviting people across AUT to voluntarily collaborate in creating the cookbook from start to finish. Students, staff, alumni and their families shared their stories and recipes, journalism students wrote the stories and hospitality students tested and standardised the recipes.

Delicious recipes in the cookbook include Fatima Ewazi’s chicken biryani, khoresh karaf (braised lamb with celery and herbs), authentic falafel, kifteh (Assyrian meatballs) and kac kac (Somali donuts).

AUT alumna and Graphic Designer/Photographer for Student Services and Administration Sakina Ewazi says the cookbook is important as the fund will make a difference to someone’s life.

“Being a former refugee and a scholarship recipient, I know how a scholarship can change your life – being given the opportunity to receive university education is one of the biggest achievements in life. This book will without a doubt change another individual’s life, the same way my scholarship changed mine,” she says.

Lian-Hong says that the book is an extension of AUT’s commitment to diversity. “There are very few university scholarships for students from refugee backgrounds. This will be a unique opportunity for former refugees to overcome financial hurdles to tertiary education.”

Her favourite moment was being able to visit the homes of the students, where she had the best falafel she’d ever tasted. “Being invited to their homes, sharing recipes, and talking about food, hospitality and traditions was such a privilege,” she says.

Buy the book or donate online

Keen to try out the recipes for yourself?

Buy the cookbook from the AUT Shop

You can also donate any amount online:

Donate to the scholarship fund