Cooking With Words

Manchester City of Literature project
A creative feast from Manchester City Poet Anjum Malik and the chef’s at award winning local bar and grill Zouk.

On Sunday 20th February 2022 Manchester City of Literature hosted a creative feast as part of the celebration of UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day for 2022.

Working with local restaurant Zouk Tea Bar & Grill, writer, poet and performer Anjum Malik collaborated with the chefs to incorporate their recipes to cook up new multilingual poetry that responds to experiences of South Asian culture.

At this afternoon event, the award-winning Zouk head chefs crafted some very special dishes to reflect International Mother Language Day and its uniqueness.

Anjum performed new writing during the event, where our audiences dined and immersed themselves in the tastes and cultures of International Mother Language Day in Manchester. This event sure left bellies and hearts equally full.

Writer, poet and performer Anjum Malik says: “Food brings us together like nothing else. It is truly multilingual. Our differences are forgotten as we sit together, and this is what ‘Cooking with Words’ is all about. Eating together, celebrating all that we have in common through the pleasure of food as human beings with poems we can relate to like eating with loved ones in the present and in the past. it’s about bringing together our senses of taste, hearing, seeing, taste, the aromas and feeling the pleasure of it all.”

Manchester has a rich literary tradition, as home to some exceptional and high-profile poets, a thriving poetry and spoken word scene, awarding-winning publishers and writing development agencies and libraries which place writing and community outreach at the heart of their work. This heritage is represented in Manchester’s designation as an UNESCO City of Literature in 2017.

Cooking With Words took place at award-winning local bar and grill Zouk