Ouma’s Kitchen celebrates multi-cultural isle cuisine with charity cookbook

Brenda's recipe booklet will raise funds for the Thanet Iceberg Project

A cookery zine showcasing recipes from around the isle is being created to raise money for the Thanet Iceberg Project.

Brenda Henderson, who owns new cafe Ouma’s Kitchen, became inspired to create the booklet after seeing first-hand how the community pulled together during the first lockdown.

Despite facing the financial stress of closure just weeks before signing the lease on her Northdown Road premises Brenda found a way to keep business going while feeding the homeless.

She explained: “After a few years trying to locate a premises I was excited to open and signed the lease on March 3, then of course lockdown happened.

“I started creating frozen meals for takeaway and after hearing about the foodbanks I started to make soups from the leftovers. I hate food waste, “she said.

The meals were then distributed by the Salvation Army and led the former HR worker to discover food charity The Kitchen which is operated by the Thanet Iceberg Project.

Throughout summer Ouma’s simple menu – inspired by the recipes of her native South Africa – proved a hit with locals who flocked to the café for homecooked curries, stews and vegan cakes.

She said: “When we opened, we had great support from the community and my son Jarred who lives in Margate and has been quite involved with the business thought of the zine idea,” she said.

The booklet will feature around 25 recipes and Brenda hopes it will represent the isle’s multicultural community.

She said: “I came to Margate after living in London for a long time. It’s a similar seaside town to where I grew up. I was surprised there was such a big South African community here.”

The blend of cultures epitomises the culinary heritage of her native and has continued to inspire her cooking.

She said: “Durban-style curry is a cuisine in its own right borne from the city’s large Indian community who brought recipes which were adapted to our local ingredients over time.”

Pickled fish dishes and banana curries have all found their way on the menu in Margate but Brenda will be submitted Afrikaans classic, Bobota- a dish consisting of spiced mincemeat with an egg topping.

Ouma’s Kitchen wants to help bring back and celebrate proper cooking, experimentation, sharing of ideas, tastes and cultures.

The zine will be on sale for under £10 from December 15. For more information visit oumaskitchen.co.uk


  1. “I was surprised there was such a big South African community here” – so am I!

    Whatever, looks fabulous.

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