We interviewed writer, photographer, videomaker and passionate foodie Riaz Phillips about the many tastes of Notting Hill Carnival and his latest project: Community Comfort.
Riaz is from London, of mixed-Caribbean heritage and his first book, Belly Full: Caribbean Food in the UK, illustrates Caribbean culture and history in the UK through food. In 2018 he was named on the Observer Food Monthly ‘50 Things we Love’ annual list and winner of a Young British Foodie Award.
Are you cooking more now yourself?
Yeah, now I have more time. And since doing the book, since seeing the recipes, and how simple they are, I cook more now. Sometimes people can be scared of cooking more global food because they haven't heard of the ingredients. But once you see what the recipe entails, it's just some preparation, you get chopping, maybe some marinading to get the flavours in there, and the recipes come out amazing.
What's involved in winning the young British foodie award?
After you’re nominated, and they whittle it down to the shortlist, you’re invited to an interview with the judges. Then you talk about your project, what it is that you do, and what it is that you’re enthusiastic about. I was nominated for Belly Full. It’s a very genuine process and it’s good to highlight diversity in the food industry. Awards are often being celebrated by the same people, you always have the same faces, so it’s nice to be part of something a bit more diverse.
You can buy Community Comfort for a minimum £10 donation. All proceeds from the book will be donated to The Majonzi Fund which raises money to help those families COVID-19 has touched in the Black and Ethnic minority community. Check out what comfort food Riaz has been cooking during lockdown below. And watch out for our jerk chicken recipe – coming to the blog soon!
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