Flavours of Hope is a non-profit social enterprise that supports and empowers refugee newcomer women to earn a living wage and build social connections in communities through cooking and sharing culinary traditions and stories.
Food, Coffee, & Dialogue
Thank you to everyone who came to support our first successful sold-out multicultural Merienda afternoon with food, coffee and stories at the end of June in solidarity with World Refugee Day! We are incredibly grateful to host this community event with strong women entrepreneurs from Kapé Philippines Coffee and Kulinarya Filipino Eatery, a family-run restaurant in our East Vancouver neighbourhood.
We had an amazing time of sharing Mexican appetizers and Filipino desserts and drinks, hearing powerful stories of migration, and engaging in meaningful dialogue of identity, belonging, stereotypes and prejudice faced by refugees and immigrants. People were nourished and fed by good food and conversations with each other.
Together we can build a welcoming, diverse and resilient community! Sign up for our newsletter and stay tune for our second Merienda in the fall!
Cross-Cultural Vegan Feast
We are so grateful for everyone who came to eat, learn and share in our cross-cultural vegan feast with Persian food from an Iranian chef and East African food from Kula Foods on Saturday, May 11! We had an amazing evening of sharing food and stories of culture, identity and community. Food has the power to bring people together, break down barriers, and create a sense of welcome and belonging. Sign up for our newsletter to get updates and come to our next cultural pop-up events!
Through Food Series:
Mexican Cooking Class
We had a fun and engaging evening of sharing traditional Mexican food, cooking and storytelling as part of our Cultural Dialogues through Food series on March 1, 2019.
Chef Angeles, a talented refugee newcomer woman chef from Guadalajara, Mexico taught people how to make traditional tortilla and share the history, culture and story behind the beloved Mexican dish.
Angeles showed people how to make her special family recipes of tortilla soup, pineapple chili salsa, and fresh agua fresca, a light fruit drink popular throughout Mexico. She explained the different kinds of chilies and various spices used in Mexican cooking and engaged everyone in their senses.
Through cooking and dialogue, Angeles shared her migration story and the healing power of food in helping her to connect with Canadians and build relationships and sense of belonging in the community.
We had a wonderful long table dinner after the cooking class and ate together as we discussed issues of food and race, and our experience of food in relation to our family, friends, neighbours and newcomers.
Celebration of diverse food, culture & stories
We had a powerful culinary experience at our Storied Cuisine event at Massy Books on Saturday, October 27 as we celebrated food, culture and stories of migration and entrepreneurship. Thank you everyone who came and supported our goals to empower newcomer women and create intercultural dialogue through food stories. We are grateful and inspired by all the strong and resilient newcomer women who cooked their favourite dishes and shared memories and stories of home, family, traditional food and their journey to Canada.
“I am grateful to build new friendships and share our stories of migration. We support each other by listening, telling and sharing our food, recipes, and memories of our families eating around a table. I would love to open a Mexican restaurant and make fresh food from scratch.” - Chef Angeles
Cooking on Global News!
10 Amazing Weeks of
We had a wonderful summer cooking with talented newcomer women and selling traditional cultural food from Mexico, Venezuela and Middle East at the Summer Newcomer Food Market on Granville Island in 2018! We celebrated diverse ethnic food and engaged people in fun games and intercultural activities. We are grateful for all the meaningful conversations, stories, and memories that people have shared with us over good food and drinks.
Thank you for your encouragement, support and friendships as we turn our ideas and dreams into a hopeful reality! We have learned a lot through this experience and will continue to build up Flavours of Hope to empower refugee newcomer women through cultural cooking.
Celebrating diverse flavours and stories of hope
We work with refugee newcomer women to create traditional cultural dishes and share stories through our pop-up dinner events, cooking classes and farmers markets. Our long term vision is to build a community cafe with an accessible and affordable kitchen for refugee women to learn about food entrepreneurship and sell cultural food. We celebrate diverse food flavours and share stories of hope and opportunities for newcomers to work, support their families, and build a sense of belonging in the community through cooking together.
Adapting and integrating into communities
Canada has welcomed over 300,000 immigrants and refugees across communities in 2017. Many newcomers arrive in Canada with little support networks and face challenges learning a new language and culture. It is especially difficult for refugee newcomer women who are often socially isolated, have a hard time making friends, and have difficulty finding suitable jobs to support their family.
Bringing people together and building community through food and stories
Food is a powerful common language in bringing diverse people together around a table and breaking down social isolation and barriers. Eating together and sharing food and stories with people is a meaningful way to develop relationships in the communities. Many refugee newcomer women are resilient, strong and eager to share their hopes and dreams of cooking and opening their own food business. Food is universal in showing love, welcome and hospitality to each other.
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Cultural dinners &
with women chefs
Provide a living wage
Unemployment creates a cycle of poverty and takes a psychological toll on newcomers who need to support their family and earn a living wage. By supporting Flavours of Hope, you help to create opportunities for women to make a livable income and integrate into communities and local economy.
Create social connections
We believe that sharing food and stories together can create stronger community connections. In addition to our weekly subscription ethnic meals, we have cultural cooking classes and pop-up community dinners to eat with newcomers in our neighbourhoods, build relationships and learn about different cultures and traditions.
Build diverse communities
We deeply value community partnerships and collaboration through working together with local farmers, non-profit organizations, churches, neighbourhood houses, food networks and community leaders to build diverse, welcoming and more connected neighbourhoods.
Talented women from different cultures around the world
I am from Damascus, Syria and I loved working as a chef in a hotel to present our traditional Syrian food for visitors and tourists when they come to experience and taste the flavours of Middle Eastern food in Damascus before the war. Food is my own way of communicating to people back home and I want to continue to do the same in Vancouver and make new friends. Cooking is my love language and I feel happy when people love the food and learn more about Syrian culture.
I am of Palestinian heritage, but I was born and lived in Saudi Arabia. I first learned how to cook from my family, especially my mother. I miss the spicy aromatic food I grew up with and all kinds of good fresh spices. I always had a passion for cooking and making sweets. When I cook, I forget my troubles and feel true joy. I also love to make food for others, and to see the joy in their faces when they taste something delicious that I have cooked or baked. There is an Arabian proverb that says "the path to people's hearts is through their stomach". While I am away from my family, cooking keeps me connected to them, my sweet memories and heritage.
I am from Guadalajara, Mexico and I love my culture, traditions and food. Some of my favourite Mexican cuisines include tortas ahogadas, tostadas de pierna de cerdo, and cactus. I miss having fresh fruit juice that you can find in almost every street corner. What I enjoy doing the most is cooking for my family and friends. I want to continue the tradition of having neighbours come over to our house and share food and drinks around the table. I hope I can make a lot of friends through cooking and eating together.
I am from Maturin, a small city in eastern Venezuela and I love cooking since I was a child, especially baking. What I like the most about food is its power to connect people together and build positive emotions like joy, delight and warmth. Eating food together is a fantastic way to learn about my own traditional roots and other diverse cultures around me. For me, cooking is a way of taking care of others in the community. It is always an expression of love.