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Tekebash and Saba

Saba Alemayoh

From Tigray to the world, a love story through food.

This is not your regular cookbook. The recipes are a legacy of Tekebash Gebre, my extraordinary mother. Tekebash was born in Tigray, under the rule of the last Ethiopian emperor. She lived under a communist regime before fleeing to Sudan. Since then we have been on a migration journey, from Aksum to Khartoum to Melbourne and beyond. Our hearts, however, will forever be Tigrayan, and through Tekebash's simple, vibrant dishes we celebrate a connection that won't be broken. It has been my privilege to translate and record what Tekebash cooked by taste, touch and memory for several years in our Melbourne restaurant. It's our story, and it's my tribute. But it will also resonate with anyone who knows the unceasing pull of a distant homeland and the comfort of its food.

Born in Sudan, to Ethiopian parents, Saba arrived in Australia in 1999 with her mother when she was nine. After finishing school, Saba joined the Australian Army and was a part of the first era of women in the Australian Army to go into combat. After the army, Saba opened an eponymous restaurant in Melbourne's Fitzroy. She worked front of her house while her mother, Tekebash Gebre cooked the food of her homeland by memory, taste and instinct in the kitchen. Tekebash was born in Tigray, under the rule of the last Ethiopian emperor, who was overthrown in 1974 by a communist military government backed by the Soviet Union. She became a refugee in Sudan at the time of the rebellion during the transition in the 1990s from communism to a democratic government. After the closure of the restaurant, Saba relocated to Lagos, where she works in music and arts events and curates art shows.

Category:  National & Regional Cuisine
ISBN:  9781922351821
Publisher:  Murdoch Books
On sale:  April 2023
Format:  Hardback
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