Faculty of Land and Food Systems
Meeru of Vij’s and Rangoli; dedicated supporters of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm
Meeru Dhalwala was born in India before moving as a young girl to Washington DC. Meeru has worked with international non-profit organizations on human rights and economic development projects. She received her Master’s of Science in development Student from Bath University before moving to Vancouver in 1995 to join Vikram Vij. Meeru has been cooking and running the kitchen at Vij’s, hailed by the New York Times as “easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world”. Meeru has penned Vij’s cookbooks: Vij’s- Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine, which won Cuisine Canada’s 2007 Gold Award for Best Cookbook, and Vij’s at home: Relax, Honey, which placed second in the Best Indian Cuisine Book in the World category at the 2010 Gourmand International World Cookbook Awards in Paris, France. Meeru is working on her third cookbook. Meeru is on the board of directors for Vancouver Farmers Markets and is a member of the Advisory Council and key fundraiser for The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC. Her special community project is an annual international food fair called “Joy of Feeding” which features 15-16 home cooks of various ethnic backgrounds showcasing their family’s favourite comfort foods. The vision of this event is to connect important aspects of food and cooking: all the various cultures in metropolitan Vancouver, our personal health and the environment. Meeru’s bigger vision is to have a worldwide Joy of Feeding day where various communities throughout the world gather together to share their personal stories through their home cooked meals.
“Nutrition keeps the individual healthy and hopefully free of illness. Culture is the overarching word ranging from our personal families and friends to our communities to our world at large. The environment represents this planet, which we must somehow, as a united team of humanity, protect from terminal illness. Cooking and eating food- what we eat, how we eat and with whom we eat- is a key unitary. Joy of Feeding strips food to its core purpose and celebrated food presence in all ways for humanity at the micro dinner table to macro world level.”
We are looking forward to next year’s Joy of Feeding at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm; it will be held in June 2016. Meeru’s dedication to food systems, healthy communities, immigrants, the environment, and the UBC Farm have been instrumental in the start an evolution Campaign as well as to her commitment to creating positive change in this world.