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Source: City of Westminster

Westminster City Council’s second edition of e-cook book ‘A Taste of Westminster’, which contains scrumptious recipes from market traders, residents and members of staff, is now available.

The cookbook exemplifies the strength and community spirit shown by all during the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have and continue to affect many of our small businesses across Westminster, with market traders particularly impacted by reduced footfall.

The recipes reflect the varied food stalls across our five main markets in Westminster; Tachbrook Street, Berwick Street, Church Street, Strutton Ground and Maida Hill.

The delicious meals range from a spaghetti carbonara, a rum sticky toffee pudding, a beef stew and falafel with tahini sauce.

Zoya Bako, who runs a kebab stall on Strutton Ground market along with her eldest daughter, Dayana, submitted a chicken with stew recipe for the free online cookbook.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, they both fed vulnerable and disadvantaged residents in Westminster. Zoya said: “It was a pleasure for us to support local homeless shelters and provide food for the most venerable people in our society. It was very satisfying to have a chat with the residents who found out that we were preparing their food, they started to come to our stall and express their gratitude for the delicious food that they said was the highlight of their day.”

Another stall holder, Ian McLaren, has been running a fruit and veg stall at Tachbrook Street market for just over a year.

For the cookbook, he has shared a tasty apple crumble recipe. He said: “The best thing about being on the market is getting to know the locals. Lockdown has helped us as people have realised fruit and veg bought from our stall is a lot tastier than the stuff the supermarkets supply.”

Laila Shurman has had a stall on Church Street market for seven years called Laila’s Creole Soul Food, which reflects her Seychellean heritage.

In the cookbook, she has submitted a grilled fish recipe. She said about her choice of meal: “I feel that a lot of people are afraid to cook fish, it’s out of their comfort zone, so I thought a simple fish recipe would be nice. I have been asked a few times about my flavours and style of cooking so I decided it would be a great way for people to try and cook it for themselves.

“This year has been very challenging we rely a lot on the offices around the area so without them coming to us during lunchtime we are really struggling. I am hoping next year will be a lot more promising.”

Cllr Rachael Robathan, Westminster City Council Leader, said: “We feel it is vital to highlight the importance of our markets and the sense of community they provide. After the privations of lockdown, it was great to hear the cheery open cries of traders once again, watching our residents, and visitors from further. So, let’s all enjoy this taste bud testament to the creativity of Westminster’s market traders. Their entrepreneurial spirit is a key factor that makes city life taste so much better.”

Cllr Matthew Green, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Business and Planning, said: “We are what we eat and the diversity of the food that we love reflects the diversity of our community. There are no more diverse places than Westminster’s markets and I am delighted that so many of our cherished market traders have submitted recipes for this free online cookbook. The traders’ recipes in the new edition of Taste of Westminster will doubtless induce culinary cravings across our city and inspire readers to visit one of Westminster’s markets very soon.”

The cookbook is a free and an easily accessible PDF that can be found here: https://indd.adobe.com/view/59ae9d89-7a3a-420d-8b3b-6e3c34ae0efd. Any contributions will help Children Leaving Care and the Tuesday Group, visit www.westminster.gov.uk/a-taste-of-westminster to find out more.

MIL OSI United Kingdom