Feast of Merit in Richmond is a wonderful mix of charity and beautiful food.
Bringing people together to celebrate sharing food, Feast of Merit takes it’s concept from Nagaland, in the far northeast of India, where people believe that wealth should be celebrated and shared.
Daniel Kummer is the Event and Marketing co-ordinator at Feast of Merit and he explains “when a member of the Naga community comes into wealth they host a feast for the whole village. Everyone in the community is invited to join the feast which continues until the host has shared their wealth. This is called a Feast of Merit.”
The restaurant is entirely not-for-profit. All of Feast of Merit’s profit go to YGAP, a non-profit social enterprise that funds leaders in some of the toughest communities to create change for the better. YGAP was created in 2008, when a group of friends who wanted to volunteer overseas decided to begin fundraising within their own communities to help make a difference in Africa.
The current head chef Jarryd Goundrey, began his culinary career in 2011 after spending six years in the army. He started working at the Art Series Hotel in Queensland, before moving to Melbourne in 2013 to take up a position at Cutler & Co.
After a year he made the move to Feast of Merit, where he has worked his way up to the position of head chef.
Goundrey and his team create dishes by thinking about the season and weather.
“A core ingredient is the base for every dish,” explains Krummer.
“And then we elaborate on the core dish by adding appropriate and exciting ingredients until a new dish has been created.
“We believe in a farm to fork culture, showcasing locally sourced, sustainable and seasonal produce in order to strengthen and support the local community.
“Since access to produce depends on what season it is, we choose to follow the ways of the earth.”
Feast of Merit are renowned for their tender, slow cooked lamb. This is often paired with their unforgettable fried cauliflower dish with blackened onions, hung yogurt, sour cherries and zaatar.
Popular entrees include flatbread and bissara broad bean dip, while espresso martinis are the cocktail of choice!
So, for an ethical meal that leaves your belly and your heart feeling full, Feast of Merit is a breath of fresh air to an already buzzing area of Richmond.