Hi, I’m Mary Fawzy and I was born to an Egyptian immigrant family in Namibia. (Well, technically I was born in Zambia but we moved to Namibia when I was 1). I now live in Cape Town, South Africa. My background is in politics and social justice, but I could never escape thinking about food. Food occupies my mind most days. I eat deliciously in my dreams. I created this blog to start sharing my passion with the world. As a highly sensitive person, I have a lot of feelings, which I often channel into cooking and writing – something this blog allows me to combine. While sometimes it’s easier to talk about food than about feelings, I’m going to try not to shy away from either. What I’ve grown to realise over the past few years is that, like most things, food is political. Food is history and identity. It’s also an easy way in to talking about the bigger issues of gender, race, migration, and class.
I’ve become incredibly interested in these intersections, and I’m hoping to learn about and explore these topics on here.


Food has become a way to embrace my heritage, so much of which I grew up trying to suppress. As a part of an almost non-existent Egyptian community in Namibia, it could feel alienating having to ‘translate’ my culture to people. It was easier to assimilate to try fit in. But my mom’s cooking was delicious. When I moved away from home, I started calling my mom, asking for recipes, hoping to recreate just a little bit of the comfort those dishes gave me. Without realising, mastering Egyptian dishes helped me to connect with my identity with a confidence I couldn’t find in anything else. Over the years, I’ve heard from many immigrant kids how food was the way they were able to connect with their heritage: that’s the power of food. 

Although I love making and eating Egyptian food, I enjoy cooking all types of food. There is always an unfair expectation that if you come from a certain background, that’s the food you should cook. Even though all food is cultural, dominant food cultures (mostly European) tend to be perceived as neutral whilst everything else is an ‘other.’ This means that this expectation is often placed on people of colour. I’m a bit tired of that; I’m going to cook what I like. 

 Another unfair expectation is that cultural dishes are always judged on ‘authenticity’, leaving little freedom to play around with recipes. I don’t like being limited by that. Especially since, as an immigrant, you have to use what is available to make certain dishes. I’ll be sharing Egyptian/North African recipes (usually), but the way I like to make them, which sometimes has short cuts or different takes. I also generally just love making nutritious, affordable, and easy to make food. 


I recently read an educational piece by food writer, Soleil Ho on the common use of certain words or phrases (ethnic, addictive, guilt, authentic, etc.) in the food industry which have problematic underpinnings. I’ll follow suit by trying to avoid these terms. What I love about Soleil’s piece is that she uses language as an easy entry point into discussing the bigger issues in the food industry. In trying to avoid these terms, we are all forced to imagine and create new ways of talking about food, which is so exciting.