Calling all cooks

Michelle Slater

Latrobe Valley residents are being asked to share tried-and-true delicious recipes for a community cookbook, as part of a focus on making healthy food more accessible for locals.

The Latrobe Valley Food Security Coalition, known as Food For All Latrobe Valley, is creating a local cookbook to share simple, healthy, family recipes that anyone can try.

The Food For All Latrobe Valley cookbook will be edited by Mirboo North foodie Jaci Hicken who wants to feature Latrobe Valley locals, and share why they love their recipes.

Ms Hicken plans to go to people’s homes, community groups or businesses to hear their stories and sample their favourite meals.

She said anyone could participate regardless of their culture, tradition or economic background, and she was especially keen to hear from local farmers who wanted to promote their fresh produce.

“I love to share stories of Gippsland and its people and their food. This cookbook is an opportunity to focus on the wonderful people of Latrobe, their food and shared dinners,” Ms Hicken said.

“A community cookbook like this allows everyone to show how food is part of their social connections as well as highlight the diverse cultures we have in the Latrobe Valley.”

Food For All Latrobe Valley was formed late last year and is backed by the Latrobe Community Health Service.

The cookbook is being funded by the Latrobe Health Assembly, as an initiative of the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone.

The group hopes to launch the cookbook in October as part of World Food Week, alongside other local events focussing on the importance of food in the community.

Central West Gippsland Primary Care Partnership food coalition facilitator Claire Tartaro said it was essential that the community could access fresh, healthy food.

“Food For All Latrobe Valley strives to improve food access and availability across the Latrobe Valley, by supporting local food initiatives to raise the value of fresh, healthy, locally-produced food for everyone,” Ms Tartaro said.

“This will lead to a sustainable and resilient community into the future.”

To contribute to the cookbook, email Gabrielle Francis at, or phone Jaci Hicken on 0407 577 205, or email .