With so many of us spending more time indoors, more of us have been honing our culinary skills at home than ever before, and if you're looking to add a little excitement to your Friday night dinner, Ellie Kisyombe has got you covered.
Formerly an asylum seeker living within the direct provision system, Ellie began her culinary journey with the intention of combating the conditions she lived under. She co-founded the pop-up cafe, OurTable, with Michelle Damordy in 2015, and served as its volunteer director for a number of years.
The organization was operated by asylum seekers with the goal of highlighting the issues within the direct provision system. While Our Table is still going strong, Ellie has begun to shift her focus to a personal project that she hopes will be something much bigger.
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18 months after becoming an Irish resident, Ellie has launched her new line of sauces: Ellie’s Kitchen Home edition. The range is made with locally sourced Irish ingredients and hit store shelves recently. It is the activist’s first business venture since gaining her right to work.
Growing up in Malawi, Ellie fondly recalls how her family of foodies inspired her love for cooking:
"My mom and my aunt were the best cooks and my parents owned one of the first bakeries in Malawi so culinary has always been a part of my family", said Ellie. "My Auntie kind of took it over from my mom and it looks like I picked up from my Auntie and done my own twist", she added.
All Ellie’s Kitchen Home Edition products are available to order online on her website and will be stocked at independent stores nationwide
- Written and filmed by Tolu Oluyede