Melek Erdal

I am an Istanbul-born Kurdish chef and writer who grew up in north and east London. I opened my own café in 2013, inspired by the food of my roots and upbringing, and the way it emboldens and brings together communities. I have since moved onto teaching and writing about food, culture and identity, running masterclasses, pop ups and telling food stories through documentary videos and essays, believing very much in community-focused food activism. I am an advocate for food as a form of connection and preserving identity and history, food being the most resilient form of language. My most recent writing has been an essay published in the book 'London Feeds Itself' as well as an essay for the Wellcome Collection. I have been a long term collaborator with food sustainability charities; Made in Hackney and the Felix Project and am a panellist on BBC Radio 4's The Kitchen Cabinet.

Special subjects

History, memory and culture through the prism of food stories and recipes. Specifically food and culture of the Middle East, Kurds and London Diaspora.

Languages spoken

English and Turkish

Regular work

Freelance Food styling, cookery teaching, catering and recipe writing. Also a panellist on BBC Radio 4's The Kitchen Cabinet.

Advisory boards / Awards

Raindance Best Documentary Short 2015

Melek  Erdal