After immigrating to Canada from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2014, chef Anuarite Manyoha will be sharing her cooking and culture for a good cause.
As part of a fundraiser with York Region Food Network (YRFN) on Oct. 21, Manyoha will be leading a live virtual cooking demonstration with Congolese dishes.
“I’ll cook and explain what I’m doing. People will be able to ask as many questions as they want as we cook and they will be doing what I’ll be showing them,” she said.
Manyoha, who lives in Ottawa now, has been cooking her whole life.
“Growing up, our mom always taught all the girls in the house how to cook, so it’s kind of like a cultural thing. As a girl in the family, you’re expected to grow up learning how to cook,” she said. “I used to see her cook everyday in the kitchen. She would take us with her in the kitchen and cook. I developed a passion for cooking so it stayed in me.”
She was one of the chefs featured in the UNHCR’s recent e-cookbook Tastes from Home, in which refugees shared recipes from their own cultures.
As part of the virtual cooking event, Manyoha will be sharing some of those dishes.
For a starter, she will teach participants how to make pondu, a dish made with cassava leaves and other vegetables.
For the entree, they will be making fumbwa, a stew-like dish that also has a lot of vegetables in it.
“We do eat a lot of vegetables, a lot of different vegetables. It’s part of our staple food,” Manyoha said. “Most of the time we don’t have access to a lot of meat in Congo but we have a lot of options of vegetables.”
As the final course in the cooking event, she will be making beignets, a fried doughnut dessert.
The event is a partnership between UNHCR and the York Region Food Network.
For $100, participants get a ticket to the event, as well as all the ingredients to make the dishes, enough to feed two people.
The ingredient kits will be picked up from the YRFN in Aurora ahead of the Zoom meeting.
If you're not able to pick up the ingredient kit, you can purchase a watch only ticket for $25.
The proceeds from the event go to UNHCR and Hope, a charity that Manyoha supports.