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Updated: Apr 12, 2022

In the beginning:

Running the RCS Bath and District Branch during Covid-19 has certainly had its challenges, however our team of trustees has been coming with some excellent alternatives to the usual physical meetings including recently a very successful online Commonwealth Cook Up.

Over the past year working mainly on Zoom and other social platforms, we have run a number of events including an AGM and an excellent Christmas party organising by our Honorary Secretary Alan Howe. This time however it was the turn of one of our newer trustees Lotte Veale to set the scene.

An ex-student of Bath Spa University and then the Queen Mary University in London, Lotte worked together with Alan, our secretary to create a unique online experience involving members and friends focusing on food from around the Commonwealth.

The plan:

The event featured meals and recipes from around the Commonwealth and included live links with Canada, Zambia and with international students as well as local members who provided recipes from Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand and beyond.

Commonwealth student members from Bath Universities took part together with a Canadian based professor from Bath Spa and our patron the Mayor of Bath. Participants were initially contacted and asked if they would like to take part. If they agreed they were then required to come up with a local dish from their region of the Commonwealth.

On the day:

On the day each participant was required to present a dish that they had cooked earlier or carried out a live ‘cook up.’ The event was also timed for early evening to take on board International time zones.

Around 20 people took part with dishes ranging from street food in Singapore, to roasted caterpillars in Zambia and piping hot maple syrup pancakes live from Ottawa. Members were able to watch as dishes were prepared or presented and then ask questions afterwards also recounting some of their own Commonwealth culinary experiences.

Using a real time international network students in Zambia were able to link up with their counterparts in Bath and students could watch as one of their professors and her family beamed live from Canada. Contributions from the other side of the world included Lamingtons from an Australian member in Bath, a UK students who cooked some Anzac biscuits and recipes from New Zealand from a local member and one time employee of the BBC.

Not only was there a lot of laughter during the event but it also provided an excellent chance for intergenerational sharing of cultures and ideas.