I’ve eaten at Feast of Merit before. It’s a beautiful cafe in Richmond that serves delicious food with a Middle Eastern twist. I always knew it maintained a farm to table philosophy; I was aware it was an initiative by YGAP (Y-Generation Against Poverty), an incredible charity that supports youth education and leadership projects in Malawi, Ghana, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Australia; I knew that the staff was friendly and the front windows open wide on Summary days for a killer dining scene.
What I didn’t know was that the name “Feast of Merit” comes from an incredible tradition out of Nagaland, a region in North-eastern India. In Naga culture, when someone in the community comes into a position of wealth they can choose to hold a festival called Feast of Merit. The festival brings the community together – rich and poor – to share and enjoy food for days on end.
It’s no wonder why a visit to FOM always feels like a special event.
Recently, I got to taste Feast of Merit’s new Spring menu and hear the chef speak. With a glint in his eye he told us how no other place he’s ever worked has felt like home. And he explained how incredibly grateful he is for the position. There is a place within the walls of Feast of Merit where he can be creative and play with concepts, flavours and textures. He is inspired by his work place, just as his food is. Ultimately, he wanted us to know how much he loves the intricate process behind preparing a meal for Feast of Merit.
I swear I could taste the love in my crumpets. I could also taste the mandarin curd, vanilla and cinnamon labneh and the maple honeycomb!