WHAT started as a school project for 17-year-old Farah Khairat led to her mother realising a long-time desire to write a cookbook.
But this is no ordinary cookbook. Firstly, its authors are Omneya “Minnie” Khairat, wife of the Canberra-based Egyptian ambassador, and their teenage daughter.
And, secondly, “Minnie’s Taste of Mediterranean Delight” is aimed at helping get food on the table for disadvantaged people back “home”.
Attaching a charity to the cookbook was another inspiration to publish and, to put it simply, Omneya says: “We can help people, so why not?”
Farah felt the same, and says: “Moving around my whole life, in between Australia and the place that feels like home – Egypt – I have seen social disparities and something like feeding your family is just so important.”
Family friends, Docklands Press, sponsored the project, allowing all proceeds to go to the Egyptian Food Bank. The authors say that the sale of one book feeds a disadvantaged Egyptian family for a week.
Omneya says “they did everything”, in regards to publishing. But behind the scenes Farah really got the pages turning. Busy in her final year of school, she crammed most recipe writing and photo taking into a three-week holiday.
Omneya was also short for time towards the end, cooking four to 11 recipes a night for Farah to taste and take photos of!
Farah’s favourite to taste were the desserts: “I’m a dessert person. I love desserts”.
The cookbook is a compilation of 180 home-made, personal recipes created by Omneya, which features a few Moroccan ones.
More than 500 copies of the cookbook were sold at the launch in October.