Over the last few months the UK has grappled with the coronavirus crisis, which to date has killed over 45,000 people across the country. In June, Public Health England released its findings that people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to die from the virus than their white counterparts.
Faced with these harrowing statistics, food writer, photographer and activist Riaz Phillips sought to raise money for communities impacted by the virus by connecting people to home comforts.
His new charity cookbook, Community Comfort: Recipes From The Diaspora, gathers London's top chefs, influencers, restaurateurs and food writers, who share the go-to comfort dishes they have been making during these hard times. With roots from Uganda to the Philippines, the book includes over 100 recipes from the likes of Ravneet Gill (The Pastry Chef's Guide: The Secret To Successful Baking Every Time), Great British Menu winner James Cochran, Ruby Tandoh (Eat Up) and Dr Rupy Aujla (The Doctor's Kitchen), as well as lesser known faces like Yvonne Maxwell and Filipino chef, Mary San Pablo.
Proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards the Majonzi COVID-19 Bereavement Fund in collaboration with the Ubele Initiative. Launched with the help of Windrush campaigner Patrick Vernon, the Majonzi Fund raises money for those families in Black and ethnic minority communities who have been affected by the pandemic, covering funeral arrangements, bereavement counsellors and therapists.
"In this time of disarray, and when we can't break bread with our loved ones, I wanted to do something which brought joy to as many people as possible," Riaz tells Refinery29. "Food and recipes are how we connect, heal and mourn but also celebrate when things get better too."
He continues: "For our people in our communities and migrant backgrounds, food is our colour when our voices don't get heard."
From a hearty red pea soup for when the temperature dips to a simple lemon loaf that will satisfy your sweet tooth, here are five recipes from Community Comfort to try at home now.
Community Comfort, compiled by Riaz Phillips, is published by Tezeta Press and is available to buy now. Minimum donation £10.