To celebrate Cultural Diversity Week, the Glen Eira City Council organised A Cultural Feast – a weeklong event showcasing Glen Eira’s diverse food culture – from 19-23 March this year. In Ormond, Israeli café Gili’s and health food store Healthwatch Foods joined in.
Multiculturalism is one of the defining qualities of Australia and Victoria is the first choice for most who wish to call Australia their second home.
In March each year, the Victorian Multicultural Commission organises Cultural Diversity Week, which aims to provide Victorians with an opportunity to learn about the various cultures, faiths, and languages represented.
Victorian Multicultural Commissioner Mr Chin Tan says, “Victoria’s global cuisine has always been something to celebrate and be proud of – sharing it during Cultural Diversity Week helps to bring people together and foster understanding of different cultures and traditions.”
This year, the Glen Eira City Council organised A Cultural Feast in celebration of Cultural Diversity Week. It is a weeklong event encouraging the residents of Glen Eira to visit the many restaurants, cafés, and food businesses and try delicacies that are close to the chefs’ or owners’ hearts.
This is a change from last year, where food businesses were encouraged to set up stalls in a nearby park over a weekend. However, food businesses welcome the change.
Healthwatch Foods owner Penny Armes chose to showcase quinoa, a seed similar to couscous, which she also often uses in her cooking.
She says, “We’re letting people know about something that’s really good for them. So many people are stressed; quinoa is something that is easily digested, very versatile and can be easily added to their diet.”
Gili’s Manager Gili Nachum says half his clientele come from a Jewish-Israeli background, while the other half are a mix of Caucasian residents in Glen Eira.
Gili’s offers typical Israeli dishes to the Glen Eira community. Some of the recipes are from Mr Nachum’s family, dishes he ate while growing up in Israel.
Mr Nachum is confident that Gili’s provides something different in Glen Eira.
“Look at North Road…There is a steak restaurant, a Thai restaurant and an Indian restaurant. You can find these anywhere in Australia. But you can’t find what I offer everywhere,” he says.
Both Ms Armes and Mr Nachum have had encouraging responses from this year’s event. Ms Armes says sales have gone up for her quinoa products, while Mr Nachum has seen several new customers.
Through this year’s A Cultural Feast, they hope the community continues to come together and support each other.
529 North Road
539 North Road
To locate Healthwatch Foods and Gili’s, please refer to the map below.