Presenting the Food Heroes: Vi Girgis

Food security comes from having the confidence to cook your own meals from fresh ingredients. For some migrants, local ingredients are foreign, and the foods that they are used are not accessible in their new home. Food Hero and Liverpool local Vi Girgis moved from Vietnam when she was a young girl:

Food Hero Vi Girgis. Photo: Anna Kucera

Food Hero Vi Girgis. Photo: Anna Kucera

I migrated to Australia from Vietnam at the age of five and have lived in Western Sydney, mainly Liverpool, since my arrival. Growing up in a large migrant family (I’m the oldest of four, with a huge extended family), food was central to all our gatherings. It was also a way to introduce us to Australian culture, as every family gathering consisted of a spread of Vietnamese and ‘Australian’ food (kebabs, burgers, pasta, etc.) However, I was only ever interested in eating the food, rather than learning how to cook, until I moved out of home and realised that if I wanted to eat yummy food, I’d have to cook it myself. Since then, I’ve discovered a real love of cooking – introducing my family to new cuisines that they’d never known about. But I don’t cook Vietnamese food – that’s what my parents’ house is for!

Food Hero & Liverpool local Vi Girgis. Photo: Anna Kucera

Food Hero & Liverpool local Vi Girgis. Photo: Anna Kucera

As an arts worker, I see cooking as another creative outlet, where I can experiment with flavours, make the food look and taste great, and share my creations with family and friends, both at my table and through my Facebook page, imaginatively titled Vi’s Kitchen. Part of having food security is being able to cook delicious meals with simple, easily accessible ingredients. I am looking forward to being a Food Hero and sharing some of my recipes which use such ingredients, to show people that it can be easy to make a delicious and affordable meal at home.

See Food Hero Vi will be doing live cooking demonstrations at the FOOD FIGHT event in Bigge Park, Liverpool on Saturday 30 April. She will be working with chef Aaron Teece to develop her dishes as affordable, healthy options. These same dishes will then be served to the Banquet guests at FOOD FIGHT. Join the Facebook event here