Visual identity by Karena Bravo.

Ane’s Tongan Kitchen | Shepparton Culture Kitchen

Fri, 13 May 2022 8:30 am Book


Main Hall, St Paul's African House
54 Poplar Avenue
Shepparton, VIC 3630



Food Culture Experience

Dress up for a fine dining experience that traces Ane Fotu’s culinary journey from the traditional Tongan kitchen where she grew up and learned to cook with her mother, all the way to Shepparton where she is now raising her own family.

Ane has collaborated with Mitchellton Winery head chef Vinnie Callaghan to reinterpret some of her favourite childhood dishes originating in the Kingdom of Tonga.

She will serve these up in a three-course dinner along with story and traditional Tongan dance in this intimate, long-table dinner event.

The program will include screenings of the Shepparton Culture Kitchen digital stories created by local visual artist Mimi Leung. Featuring the Shepparton Culture Kitchen women, these short films beautifully capture their perspectives and explore the role that food plays for them in all aspects of health, including mental, emotional, familial and community.

“A healthy food culture includes a large mix of different cultures and traditions…and foods that are created with love and shared with others” – Agoness Kuol

Food is about so much more than what we eat. Food is at the heart of culture, family and community. Food tells stories of our ancestors, of who we are now, and through sharing food together, we connect across cultures and generations.

Celebrating two years of working together, the women of the Shepparton Culture Kitchen offer this special opportunity for community to share in a diversity of flavours, stories and food cultures over two days at St. Paul’s African House on 13 and 14 May 2022.

Drawing on their own stories, cultures, traditions and contemporary influences, the women including Ane FotuRee PericShakilla NaveedEman AlabbassiYusniza YusoffLeaisa Pele and Agoness Kuol, have collaborated with artist Jamie Lewis, to explore and exchange food cultures and to develop this special program of participatory cooking, eating, storytelling and food culture experiences.

Try your hand at making a delicious Malaysian curry puff with Yusniza; gather in the makeshift outdoor Afghan kitchen for a communal cooking session with Shakilla; dress up for an intimate dinner, song and dance experience that traces Ane’s culinary journey from Tonga to Shepparton; learn the art of relaxing and slow, social sipping with Agoness’s traditional East African Coffee Ceremony; be inspired by stories of Ree’s transglobal upbringing as she performs a Fijian kava ceremony and serves up a meal of hearty, traditional dishes from her childhood home of Uganda; and more.

Produced by MAV, Greater Shepparton City Council and Point of Difference Studio, Shepparton Culture Kitchen is one of 4 initiatives supported through VicHealth’s Art of Good Health program. Drawing on Shepparton’s identity as Victoria’s ‘food bowl’ and most culturally diverse regional town, Shepparton Culture Kitchen is a significant arts program that centres the voices of diverse local women living in diaspora, to reimagine a future in which our communities are connected through empowering, healthy and sustainable food cultures.