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A pop-up Middle Eastern grazing table and cooking class is opening in Melbourne's inner west

Free to Feed
Photograph: Emily Weaving

Have you always wanted to learn how to cook delicious Middle Eastern food (or just eat more of it)? This month, Highpoint Shopping Centre is bringing 'A Taste of the Middle East' to the inner west. They'll be hosting a grazing table, pop-up café and cooking workshops in celebration of Melbourne's vibrant Syrian community.

The best part: this is in partnership with Free to Feed – a Melbourne-based social enterprise in which asylum seekers are given employment opportunities running cooking classes. In these classes, participants hear stories from their teacher about their home country and their journey to Australia while assisting in cooking a delicious traditional feast from the teacher's culture. It's a rare chance for Melburnians and the city's newest arrivals to share a meal and connect through a shared love of food. Here's what happened when we learned how to cook Persian cuisine from Free to Feed teacher Mahshid Babzartabi.

To get involved in 'A Taste of the Middle East', head to Highpoint Shopping Centre on the weekend of August 19-20 between 11am-2pm and get free Syrian cuisine at the grazing table and pop-up café. On the following weekend (August 26-27), Free to Feed chef Nayran (pictured above) is running cooking workshops at 11.30am and 1pm. Workshops are $20, but you can redeem $10 back in one of Highpoint's fresh food retailers. To make sure you get a place, book your ticket online.

Find out about the upcoming Free to Feed cooking classes on their website.

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