A host of food connoisseurs sampled amazing dishes from around the world last night, when they came to Bolton College for a cultural cookery competition.
Celebrity chef Tom Bridge, food and wine writer Patrick Trodden, director of Room Four Dessert Asif Timol, and Bolton College’s Principal Bill Webster, tasted and judged the delicious dishes on offer.
The event, A Taste of Harmony, organised by Women in Neighbourhoods (WiN), was a vibrant celebration of cuisine and cultures from around the world.
Competitors from the local community, and students from the College’s ESOL programmes (English for Speakers of Other Languages), created dishes from the Congo, Ethiopia, Hungary, Italy, Syria, Mozambique, Somalia, Singapore, Pakistan, Lebanon, Kenya and Tanzania.
The varied dishes, rustled up in the College’s catering kitchens, were judged on taste and appearance. There was also a category for best cultural dress.
Competitor Sushma Solanki, who created a Swahili dish and runs Sushma’snacks, said ‘I’ve done a few courses at the College, but this is the first time I’ve done a competition, I was nervous at first, but the experience has been amazing and I’ve really enjoyed it’.
The winning countries on the night were Lebanon, Pakistan and Somalia.
Patrick Trodden said ‘What a unique experience. It was a pleasure to judge the food created, we all experienced an explosion of flavours. The quality was fantastic, and everyone who took part was a winner’.
Asif Timol added ‘It’s great to see such a selection of diverse food in one room’.
Gulnaz Brennan, from Women in Neighbourhoods, was instrumental in organising the event and said ‘Bolton is one of the most diverse towns in the country with more than 70 languages spoken in the borough. Food has a universal language of taste. Sharing food can be a very profound experience. It’s a simple thing to do and is a very enjoyable way to break down barriers and open our minds. Food really does transcend all boundaries. It brings people together, it gives us something to share, and it builds friendships.’
A Taste of Harmony is a project celebrating diverse Culture & Cuisines. All the recipes will be published in a Bolton Community Recipe Book.
If you'd like to see more photos from this exciting event, click here.