Meghan Markle hosted her first solo royal engagement at Kensington Palace on Thursday, September 20.
The newly anointed Duchess of Sussex celebrated the launch of the Hubb Community Kitchen’s new charity cookbook Together: Our Community Cookbook, an effort to raise funds for the kitchen.
The Duchess of Sussex is supporting a new charity cookbook, 'Together: Our Community Cookbook', which celebrates the power of cooking to bring communities together. #CookTogether pic.twitter.com/XEclxgQjR4— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 17, 2018
Markle, who first had the idea for the cookbook after a visit to the community kitchen and who also penned the forward, was inspired by the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen, who rallied together to feed those affected by the June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire.
The Grenfell fire, which broke out in the 24-story Grenfell Tower block of flats in North Kensington, West London, in the U.K., killed 72 people and injured more than 70 others.
Last summer, a group of women gathered in a communal kitchen at the Al Manaar Centre in West London, where they could prepare fresh food for their families, friends and neighbours #CookTogether pic.twitter.com/BqIyry3efv— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 17, 2018
According to Time Magazine, working on the book has been a “labor of love” for the Duchess:
Working on this project for the past nine months has been a tremendous labor of love. I just recently moved to London and I felt so immediately embraced by this kitchen—your warmth and kindness, and also to be able to be in this city and to see in this one small room how multicultural it was.
The cookbook features family recipes from Hubb (which, as one community member explained, means love in Arabic) Community’s volunteers, including dishes they cooked for survivors of the fire.
As they cooked together and shared recipes, as a community they began to connect, heal and look forward. Word spread and more women joined in – this was the start of the Hubb Community Kitchen. #CookTogether pic.twitter.com/tgL9gWxmWD— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 17, 2018
Speaking at the event, the Duchess acknowledged a community that had come together to help one another in their time of need, pooling their collective resources, skills, time, and experience, in order to nourish one another.
Time reports Markle said:
…the power of food is more than just the meal itself. It’s the story behind it. When we get to know the story of the recipe, you get to know the person behind it. That’s what we’re talking about in terms of coming together to really engage and talk and to be able to celebrate what connects us rather than what divides us. That, I believe, is the ethos of ‘Together.’
The Duchess of Sussex first visited the kitchen in January, and has continued to make regular private visits. United by their passion for cooking as a way of strengthening communities, The Duchess was inspired by how the project empowers women at a grassroots level. #CookTogether pic.twitter.com/jY5XIAtw2h— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 17, 2018
In the book, Markle shares:
I immediately felt connected to this community kitchen; it is a place for women to laugh, grieve, cry, and cook together.
According to Money, the new cookbook includes more than “50 recipes for everything from coconut chicken curry to spiced mint tea.”
Proceeds from the book will support the Hubb Community Kitchen (currently only open two days a week) and its volunteers. They hope to sell at least 50,000 copies to raise about $330,000, enough to allow them to keep the kitchen open seven days a week.
Profits from the sales of ‘Together’ will support the Hubb Community Kitchen, keeping it open for up to seven days a week and helping widen its reach to others in the community #CookTogether: https://t.co/0o2njdVDS9 pic.twitter.com/SJw2iZjC2N— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 20, 2018
The Duchess was joined by her husband, Prince Harry, and her mother, Doria Ragland, at the event.
The response online was staggeringly positive:
Such a resourceful thinking of how to get funding not just by alms but rather sharing and promoting their unique recipe through the book once you purchased it.— Isabelita Guiriba (@Angelangiela) September 17, 2018
I'm literally in tears. I'm so proud of my #DuchessofSussex . She's a Duchess for all people. A woman for all people. A human being for all people. She is always our Meghan. ?— Katrina (@dazzlegal) September 17, 2018
Love how the duchess stuck to what she's been doing forever, food and volunteering at soup kitchen. She continues doing what she's always done and put that into her first project! Love this woman so much ❤️— nutmeg (@pastelfloras) September 17, 2018
People couldn’t wait to get their hands on the book, no matter what side of the pond they’re on:
It's available on amazon in US and U.K.— nutmeg (@pastelfloras) September 17, 2018
That's wonderful! Here are some links ? https://t.co/Kj7iAbKxWW— nutmeg (@pastelfloras) September 19, 2018
It's on Amazon. You can pre-order it.— Duchess Meghan Forums (@ForumsMeghan) September 17, 2018
Me tooooooo!!— Anitra Daffin (@AnitraDa) September 20, 2018