Meghan Markle's writing paints a vivid picture of community in her new cookbook foreward

By Jessica Pollack

Meghan Markle has lent her time and her voice to an important cause, one that's very close to her heart. Kensington Palace revealed on Monday (Sept. 17) that Prince Harry's wife has been working with women whose communities were affected by the tragic Grenfell Tower fire to publish a charity cookbook, Together: Our Community Kitchen. The book bares the fruits of the women's labours at the Hubb Community Kitchen, where they worked to feed their families and heal their souls. A longtime foodie and supporter of women, the Duchess of Sussex will not only open her home to celebrate the book's release on Thursday, but she's also penned the foreword for the cookbook, and it's a stunning introduction.

Meghan explains that she was in Canada while the tragedy unfolded, "deeply wanting to help," and after moving to London she got the opportunity to meet with the women who were rebuilding their lives. "The kitchen buzzes with women of all ages; women who have lived and seen life; laughing, chatting, sharing a cup of tea and a story, while children play on the floor or are rocked to sleep in their strollers."

Meghan spent time at the kitchen helping to cook and learning about the women. Photo: Jenny Zarins

She noted a few special things about the kitchen in a way that only someone with so much passion for the cause and a knack for writing vividly about food (as she did on her former blog, The Tig) could. "It is cosy and brightly lit, with scents of cardamom, curry and ginger dancing through the air," she says. "It will take you about fifteen minutes to enter the room, as you will be joyfully greeted by kisses (cheek x 3) by each of the incredible women there."

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Also, "You should undoubtedly arrive on an empty stomach because upon departure you will have been stuffed to the gills with samosas flecked with cinnamon, chapatis flavoured with carrots and onion, Russian semolina cake, Persian teas and my favourite avocado dip that I now make at home." The former actress shares some of her favourite foods, from the poutine she embraced in Canada to her mother's gumbo, fish tacos and collard greens with black eyed peas and cornbread, all the different dishes that have flavoured her life and memories.

The cookbook features 50 recipes and the very special foreword by Meghan

"I have a lifelong interest in the story of food," the former actress explains, saying how breaking bread creates a universal connection to community. "Within the kitchen's walls, there exists not only the communal bond of togetherness through sharing food, but also a cultural diversity that creates what I would describe as a passport on the plate: the power of a meal to take you places you've never been, or transport you right back to where you came from."

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The 37-year-old also shares an anecdote of a conversation with the kitchen's coordinator, Zahira, who revealed that the reason it's only open on Tuesdays and Thursdays is a matter of funding. So the group set out to change that. "Through this charitable endeavour, the proceeds will allow the kitchen to thrive and keep the global spirit of community alive. With the support of dynamic women from all walks of life, we have come together with a united vision to empower other women to share their stories through food."

Together: Our Community Kitchen is currently available for pre-order.

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