We celebrated our 30th anniversary over the course of a year and took inspiration from the traditional 30th wedding anniversary gift of pearls. All the pearls known in the ancient world came from the Indian Ocean. The trade in pearls also brought trade in spices along with ideas about cooking. We realised that the cuisines of India and the nations around the Indian Ocean all influenced each other – a string of pearls.
In three festival menus we explored the relationship with the foods of East Africa (Ethiopia/Eritrea, Kenya and Tanzania), the Indian Ocean islands (Madagascar, the Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zanzibar) and the Straits of Malacca (the southern Thai peninsula, Malaysia, Singapore and Sumatra). We learned a lot and had some amazing cooking.