Cooking Classes Taught By Refugees

Nigerian Egusi Soup photo courtesy The Dream Africa


We are justifiably proud about the diversity of this city and regularly boast about the wealth of ingredients from all over the world that we are able to access readily. But just because we can buy these ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean we know how best to cook with them. Today we want to highlight a new initiative by one of this city’s most beloved charity organizations – one that delves into world cuisine with delicious recipes taught by refugees from their home countries. 



Toronto’s Matthew House has been providing support for refugees for over two decades, and a big part of that support is through food. They welcome all refugees “regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation”, and have welcomed 2000 refugee claimants from over 100 countries in the twenty years since they first opened their doors.

“According to the 2016 census, the city of Toronto has a population of 2.7 million. Of this population, nearly 1.25 million are immigrants, making up 47% of the city’s population.” – CanadaIM

Their mission statement “to inspire hope, restore dignity, and empower independence for refugee claimants” is clearly evident in their latest project; a new video series called World Table. In the first video, which features North African Egusi Soup, we meet Suleimon, a chef from Nigeria. He no longer needs the services that Matthew House provides but he still goes back to donate his time and his cooking skills.


“One paradox of Toronto is that even as the city enables new arrivals to assimilate into Canadian life, its ethnic neighborhoods are strongly evocative of their residents’ countries of origin, and the shops (and most notably the restaurants) seem more authentic than they do in other cities to which immigrants have imported their culture and their cuisine.” – New York Times

It is through the work of organizations like Matthew House that we are able to benefit from the diverse people who come here. Our city is better for it, and, with World Table, our own kitchens and dinner tables will be as well.

“The World Table series of cooking classes and recipes has been created by our residents and community members, highlighting some incredibly diverse cuisine from around the world. Learn a new dish, and about refugee stories, while you cook up a delicious traditional meal!”


To support Matthew House, and get access to more World Table videos, recipes, and inspiring stories from their residents, click here to donate.

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