Crowds flocked to a Birmingham community centre to immerse themselves in the cuisine and culture of Ghana at the first in a series of free, vibrant events celebrating the Commonwealth.

Organisers say the inaugural event was a huge success and have thanked all those who gave their help and support. They are now looking forward to hosting nine more events at venues across the city this summer.

The first was held at Nechells Pod on Friday, June 3, and focused on Ghana. Families and visitors tucked into tasty Ghanaian food served up by chef Maud Koranteng and they were able to take home cuttings, seeds, herbs, spices and recipe cards to recreate the dishes at home.

Musicians and dancers provided entertainment and gave visitors a little taste of Ghanaian culture.

Organiser Parveen Talwar, from Communities Engage and Thrive (CET), a community interest company based in Birmingham, said it was an amazing day and she was grateful for all the support she received leading up to the day.

“It was a fantastic day, it couldn’t have gone better,” she said. “I have to say thanks to everyone who helped with the organisation and the activities on the day – everyone worked together to create an amazing first event.

“The chef Maud produced a mountain of amazing food – everyone loved it – and we were even able to distribute leftovers to those in need in the area.

“The musicians and dancers kept us all entertained and created a brilliant party atmosphere.

“Of course, it couldn’t have taken place without the funding from Birmingham City Council and Bath Bailey, from Nechells Pod, gave us invaluable support helping to organise the event at such a brilliant venue.

“Thanks also to Gayani Ariyaratne for setting up the herb and spice packs on the day.”

Parveen said there are nine more events planned across Birmingham over the summer months.

The next one on July 17 and will celebrate the food and culture of Trinidad and Tobago. It will take place at the Simmer Down Festival in Handsworth Park from 12.30pm to 6pm.

This will be followed on July 23 with a celebratory event based around Nigeria’s rich food and culture. It runs from 3pm to 9pm at the annual Birchfield Jazz Festival at St Mary’s Church.

Other events are being lined up and will represent countries including Jamaica, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, Sri Lanka and England to highlight the Commonwealth’s diversity.

As part of the project legacy, CET is also building and donating a raised bed for growing herbs and spices at each of the venues. It will also be producing a 20-country recipe book which will be available on the website and in other free-to-access social media.

The events are linked with the council’s Cook the Commonwealth project, which is asking for people to submit recipes from around the Commonwealth. (

For more details of the events, visit