Travel writer dishes up food journey around multicultural Hackney in charity cookbook

PUBLISHED: 13:57 03 October 2013 | UPDATED: 14:05 03 October 2013

Helena, photo by Georgia Kuhn

Helena, photo by Georgia Kuhn


Helena Smith’s book Eat Hackney is named after her blog, and all proceeds will go towards the Hackney Migrant Centre and North London Action for the Homeless which feed 100 homeless and vulnerable people in Hackney each week.

A new charity cookbook which celebrates the borough’s foodie scene launches at a party tomorrow night, where recipes out of the book will be dished up.

Travel writer and photographer Helena Smith, from De Beauvoir, began writing a food blog called Eat Hackney two years ago.

While working on it she collected recipes from local restaurants, cafés, food shops and community projects like Gujarati mung bean curry, Arabic saffron chicken and Swedish cinnamon buns.

Now 30 recipes have been published in a book, Eat Hackney, with delicacies like fresh prawn rolls from Mien Tay, Turkish flatbread from Palm 2 and Pastilla from L’Epicerie.

There is also a section on how to run a supper club and how to cure salmon.

Helena said: “I love chasing up food stories when I’m abroad, and it struck me that I could make a world food journey here on the doorstep in Hackney, as it’s such a multicultural borough.

“I like the way that food is a connection with your home district or country, and a way of sharing a piece of home with others.”

All proceeds will benefit the Hackney Migrant Centre and North London Action for the Homeless which feed 100 homeless and vulnerable people in Hackney each week.

“Both charities feed needy people in the borough – and they’re much more than just soup kitchens,” said Helena.

“They provide a substantial and nutritious sit-down meal in a warm and supportive environment.

“As well as all the practical problems homeless and vulnerable people face, they can feel socially isolated and excluded, and the Hackney Migrant Centre and North London Action for the Homeless are trying to combat that.”

The book will be on sale in L’Epicerie, in Chatsworth Road, Lower Clapton and Unpackaged in Richmond Road, London Fields from Saturday.

Tickets for the fundraising launch party at The Russet café in Amhurst Terrace, Hackney Downs, tomorrow, Friday October 4 at 7 pm cost £20.

The price includes a free copy of the book, wine and dishes from the book.

To book tickets go to


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