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Oasis set to bring World Food to Wales

Cardiff charity Oasis – a non-profit organisation aiming to help refugees and asylum seekers within their local communities – is gearing up for a debut appearance at this year’s Cowbridge Food & Drink Festival (May 26th-27th) with a host of activities planned to engage with visitors.

[aoa id=”1″]Celebrating ‘World Food in Wales’, a number of people currently being supported by the Splott-based charity will be manning a trailer at the festival – demonstrating the cultures influencing everyday food in Wales while championing regional producers, with a twist![/aoa]

The trailer forms part of The Plate Project – an initiative designed to give asylum seekers the opportunity to gain valuable work experience within the catering trade, with the aim of securing paid employment once refugee status is granted to them.

Clients interested in taking part have been invited to share recipes that can be turned into commercially viable street food, and tasty treats will include their own take on the falafel wrap with a mish mash of Sudanese, Iranian and Lebanese influences; Albanian pie – spinach and Feta with a Greek feel – and Sudanese meatballs.

Speaking ahead the event, Oasis Cardiff Catering Manager Matt Davenport said:

“We have roughly 100 – 150 visitors daily – this includes people from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan,  Eritrea and Vietnam among many other countries.

“The Plate Project works with refugees and asylum seekers to help them develop the valuable skills they need to enter the catering trade and the Cowbridge Food & Drink Festival is a great showcase for us.

“There is a real gap in the skills market and we want to support people both practically and with educational training to help fully prepare them for the world of work.

“Money raised at the trailer comes back into the centre, keeping it sustainable and helping to fund additional activities and the aim is that at some point in the future, we’ll have clients in full time employment running it.

“We’re also really pleased to be involved with the food demonstration programme during the festival weekend giving a further insight into some of the recipes, ingredients used and how they are cooked – an eclectic mix, just like our clients!”

Cowbridge Food & Drink Festival organiser Polly Wilson added:

“We’re really excited to have the team from Oasis on site this year – it’s a charity close to my heart and a great addition to the programme; helping us to highlight all the many influences that create some of the best recipes, while still making the most of some of our fantastic regional produce.

“I’m sure it will go down a treat with visitors and I’m definitely looking forward to sampling some myself!”

Oasis Cardiff will be at the Cowbridge Food & Drink Festival Sunday 26th – Monday 27th May.