Food Means Home

Food Means Home

Imagine being in a new place, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, and not knowing the place you’re living in. The experience can be daunting and isolating. What if, during these moments, something as uncomplicated as sharing food and stories from one’s homeland could offer solace and foster a sense of belonging? That’s exactly what the “Food Means Home” project, developed in partnership with Child Friendly Leeds, aimed to do.

The British Library and Leeds children’s social work services recognised the importance of food in creating a sense of home for those who are new to the city. They embarked on a journey to create a recipe book that celebrates the diversity of Leeds and the world beyond. And the result? Cooked with love: World recipes without borders, a beautifully printed publication that contains recipes from around the globe.

Explore the inspiring and, often emotionally moving stories of the young authors who brought “Cooked with Love – World Recipes without Borders” to life by reading Polly Russell’s insightful article in The Guardian. As a renowned food historian and curator at the British Library, Russell sheds light on how creating these recipes became a valuable outlet for the authors to share their life experiences and foster a sense of community and belonging.


The launch event was a prestigious evening held at The Banqueting Suite, Civic Hall, and attended by over 100 people. The authors shared their experiences of the project, and each received a copy of the book they had collectively created over the last two years. The book is now available for reference at all British Library sites, and a free digital copy can be downloaded from their website.

Here are some visuals from the event captured in images and a video.

Image Gallery – 23 November 2022

Get a sneak peek of the amazing moments at our book launch event by checking out this video on YouTube!

What next…

What’s even more incredible is that every new arrival to Leeds will receive a copy of the book as part of their welcome. The aim is to start conversations and educate, celebrating the city’s diversity and sharing it with everyone. The authors want everyone who reads and cooks these recipes to feel the same love, security, and warmth that the young people experience when they eat them.

Which is why, when His Royal Majesty, the King, paid a visit to the city, they couldn’t resist the opportunity to present him with his very own copy! It was a proud moment for these young authors to share their work with such a distinguished guest, and for the King to witness the positive impact that this project has had on the city. As the book continues to make its way into the hands of new arrivals to Leeds, it is sure to bring people together and help build a more welcoming and inclusive community. The young authors have truly created something special, and their dedication to celebrating cultural diversity through food is an inspiration to us all.

Get involved

So far, some of our favourites include Ghormeh Sabzi, Zalaybia, Daraba Gombo, Tikel Gomen, and the Chicken Korma, but we’ve loved everything we’ve tried!

Help us spread the word. If you have cooked one of the recipes, Please send it to us on our socials using #recipeswithoutborders and tell us your favourites!

Food really does mean home. And in Leeds, this recipe book is helping to create a city that welcomes and celebrates the cultural diversity of its residents and we are delighted to be able to share it with everybody.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: