Meghan Markle's first solo project as a member of the royal family has been revealed. The Duchess of Sussex is supporting a new charity cookbook written by women affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, Kensington Palace said in a statement on Monday.
The recipe book, Together: Our Community Cookbook, features over 50 recipes and celebrates "the power of cooking to bring communities together". Backed by The Royal Foundation and published by Penguin Random House, it will be released on Thursday 20th September and proceeds will go towards keeping the kitchen where the women first gathered in the wake of the fire open for up to seven days a week, and widening its reach to others in the community, the palace said.
In a promotional video posted by Kensington Palace on social media, the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen (Hubb means 'love' in Arabic), share the story of how they came together in a communal kitchen at the Al Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre in west London in the aftermath of the tragic fire.
The women originally gathered in the kitchen to prepare fresh food for their families, friends and neighbours, before beginning to cook together and share recipes as a community. "Word spread and more women joined in – this was the start of the Hubb Community Kitchen," the palace said.
Markle explains how she became involved in the project when she moved to London in January this year. "I immediately felt connected to this community kitchen. Like these women, I’m passionate about food and cooking as a way of strengthening communities." Given her own love of food, and previous life as a lifestyle blogger who frequently shared her favourite recipes and restaurants, Together seems like a natural first project for the new royal.
"Melding cultural identities under a shared roof, it creates a space to feel a sense of normalcy – in its simplest form, the universal need to connect, nurture, and commune through food, through crisis or joy – something we can all relate to," Markle said. "Through this charitable endeavour, the proceeds will allow the kitchen to thrive and keep the global spirit of community alive."
The book's publisher describes the book's contents as "simple Eastern Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and North African recipes, many of which have been handed-down through generations, honed and perfected over the years".
The Royal Foundation hopes Together will sell 50,000 copies and make £250k, which will be invested straight back into the kitchen.