On Sunday 25th June, Welcome Merchant held their biggest event to date, a sold-out lunch to celebrate Refugee Week. The ‘Feast for Good’ was held at a Canva venue in Surry Hills, and was a day that both raised awareness for, and celebrated, refugees.
The space was truly set up for a feast, with two long tables adorned with place cards, bright flowers kindly donated by Grandiflora, and colourful napkins from Welcome Merchant business, Second Stitch, a social enterprise that empowers women from diverse backgrounds through textiles.
The highlight of the afternoon was, of course, the cuisine! A delicious degustation was presented to the diners, featuring two courses of Malaysian cuisine by Sangee’s Asian Fusion, two courses of Sri Lankan cuisine by Bavan Foods, and two courses of Syrian cuisine by Racha’s Syrian Kitchen (to learn more about Racha, click here). The wine was from social enterprise Munificent Wines.
The first course, Pani Puri (deep fried crisp flatbread filled with chaat masala and potato) was unlike anything I’d eaten before, and was a favourite of mine. Following courses (mine were vegetarian) included eggplant and chickpea curry, korma, and kuttu roti, a Sri Lankan street food. The best course of the day in my opinion was the dessert by Racha’s Syrian Kitchen – a gorgeous tasting plate of mini Syrian treats such as knafeh, ashtah icecream and stuffed dates.
Syrian singer and oud player George Karam added to the atmosphere of celebration, and a raffle featuring five generous prizes (including an Incu voucher, wines, cookbooks and a Welcome Merchant Goody Box) raised over $800 that will go towards sponsoring First Nations guests to attend the upcoming NAIDOC Ball in Sydney in July.
All in all, it was a fantastic afternoon for a great cause. “Loved the event on Saturday, the food was amazing!” reported one happy diner.
Welcome Merchant are hosting another fundraiser event in Sydney on the 10th of July, with proceeds going to the Sri Lankan crisis – for more information, click here.
Photo of Chefs Nidal & Racha above, with WM Events Coordinator volunteer Cristal, taken by WM Danish Ravi Photography