Istanbul born Kurdish chef Melek grew up around the vibrant immigrant community of North and East London. Inspired by the food of her roots and upbringing, and the way it emboldens and brings together communities, Melek opened her own cafe in 2013. Since the success of the cafe she has moved onto teaching and writing about food, culture and identity. She runs masterclasses, pop ups and tells food stories, whether through her documentary videos or essays, believing very much in community-focused food activism.
Melek is an advocate for food as a form of connection and preserving identity and history; food as the most resilient form of language. Her most recent work has been with food sustainability charities; Made in Hackney and the Felix Project and regular appearances on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet. Melek’s big passion is the dignity and empowerment food stories can bring back to communities. Read her most recent interview in Vittles or find her recipes in BBC Good Food.