Life & Style

Newcastle’s must-know multicultural space

A meeting place across cultures, The Global Table Collective offers cooks from refugee backgrounds the space to showcase their culinary skills through cooking classes and mouth-watering meals! 

Ruth Anagnostis is the brain behind The Global Table Collective. Driven by a passion for social justice, she has always been focused on bettering the lives of those around her who are disadvantaged. She finds herself drawn towards working within refugee communities in the hopes of creating a place of comfort and familiarity for those who have been forced to leave their homes behind.

“These are people from all different backgrounds who have lost their homes, been displaced from their families and communities, and are starting here with nothing. If there is anything I can do in that space to make it a little bit easier to give them a leg up, then I want to do it,” Ruth shared.

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The idea for The Global Table Collective came to Ruth whilst she was working at Northern Settlement Services. During her time at there, she connected with many refugee women who had incredible cooking skills. These women were often keen to get into Newcastle’s hospitality industry but had no idea how to do so. From there, the pieces of The Global Table Collective began to fall into place.

“I got together some friends with various expertise and knowledge. We worked together and decided we could put on some dinners so the refugee cooks could network with those in the hospitality industry.”

With the support of Northern Settlement Services, Newcastle City Council, Adamstown Uniting Church, and a stellar team of volunteers, The Global Table Collective had its first-ever dinner event in March 2020! The event was a huge success with tickets completely selling out! 

However, during COVID lockdowns, The Global Table Collective was forced to close its doors. Although, as soon as restrictions eased, The Global Table Collective got back into action and began hosting their monthly dinners and cooking classes again.

The dinners are monthly feasts consisting of an entrée, main, dessert, and of course, a pre-dinner performance. Performers dazzle the crowd with dance and music in a gorgeous celebration of culture.

So far, The Global Table Collective has hosted Afghan, Persian, Syrian and Ukrainian dinners – to name a few! Unfortunately, the dinner events have been put on hold for now with hopes to resume sometime next year.

The cooking classes are cuisine-focussed classes led by a refugee cook. Participants have the chance to prepare and cook diverse meals in a three-hour class under the guidance of a culinary expert! The cooking classes are sold out quickly, so book your spot as soon as you can!

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Aside from cooking classes, The Global Table Collective can also be booked for catering at events of all sorts - from birthdays to corporate shindigs! 

Ruth’s vision for The Global Table Collective is to expand it to become a multicultural meeting place, where people from all kinds of backgrounds can gather and have cross-cultural interactions.

“My hope was that The Global Table Collective would also be a place of social interaction and exchange across cultures.”

At the moment, Ruth’s vision is at a turning point. She is on the lookout for grants and sponsorships to help sustain the ongoing operation of The Global Table Collective. She is keen to connect with any people or organisations that have knowledge in this area and can help her out in this. 

A stepping stone for the refugee community and a culinary blessing to Newcastle, The Global Table Collective continues to connect people through food, stories, and culture. You can find out more about The Global Table Collective here.