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Closed doors, open hearts, full stomachs with CQUni Melbourne cook book

Published:29 October 2020

Recipes from Behind Closed Doors is a CQUni Melbourne project to support international students doing it tough due to the pandemic.

Shuttered since August 2020 to comply with Victoria’s COVID-19 response, CQUniversity Melbourne is uniting thousands of locked down staff and students through love of food.

Passionate members of the vibrant CBD campus have created a cookbook, and are selling copies to help support CQUni Melbourne’s international students doing it especially tough amidst the restrictions.

Recipes from Behind Closed Doors features 39 recipes contributed by staff and students, along with personal anecdotes about the importance of the dish, and how it has helped during lockdown.

Order Recipes from Behind Closed Doors and help support students now!

Associate Vice-President (Victoria) Lara Carton said the cookbook, available in print or digital formats, was testament to CQUni’s nurturing community.

“Food has been especially front and centre for our campus this year,” Ms Carton explained.

“In April, with the help of SecondBite we opened a large food bank to support our international students who had suddenly found themselves without jobs due to lockdown, often in financial distress and missing the care of family and friends from their home country.

“Staff and other students put in countless volunteer hours to support the food bank, and by August, and with the help of some large freezers loaned by Unilever, we had distributed more than 20,000 frozen meals and thousands of kilos of fresh produce and dry goods to our students.”

In August, closing the campus to comply with Stage 4 restrictions also meant closing the food bank, but Ms Carton said staff conversations about food fired the idea for the cookbook fundraiser.

“For contributors to the book, cooking has been a source of pleasure, an opportunity to nurture, and even a calming routine during an emotionally challenge time,” she said.

Featuring snacks, main meals and desserts, the diverse collection merges culture and creativity, with highlights ranging from fancy (lapin a la moutarde et vin blanc, or rabbit in white wine and mustard) to fun (a sweet slice made from vermicelli noodles).

Recipes from Behind Closed Doors can be purchased via OneStop, with proceeds supporting CQUni Melbourne international students through the ongoing food bank initiative.