Toqa Kamel was one of the first Copenhagen hosts to join TastePlease, and her oriental cuisine has left more than a few guests with a full stomach and a smile on their face! Naturally, we were curious to learn what motivated her to get started, so we decided to ask.
What inspired you to start hosting dinners?
“As a newcomer in Denmark, I was searching for a way to get to know people better. Something more social to help me learn about their culture, traditions, lifestyle... What they’re actually talking about in their daily life. I tried joining different communities before, but there was always one main purpose that wasn’t socializing or making friends.”
Which meals do you most enjoy to cook?
“I am usually cooking oriental meals, for various reasons. As I come from the Middle East, it’s my favorite kind of food – the different types of vegetables, meat, and herbs that are used in it. Also, there are no typical oriental dishes in Denmark. I can’t say I have any signature dishes, though. I am not an expert, I am just making food with love and passion.”
What is the best dinner you hosted so far?
“If I have to choose a favourite dinner, it has to be the one where I served fried aubergine with rice and oriental salad.”
Who would be your perfect guest?
“My perfect guest is the outgoing one, who is coming to experience the idea and to know people – talking about different life topics, feeling at home, and giving feedback on the food, service, and experience.”
Do you have any advice for people who are considering to host?
“Do it, don’t hesitate! it is okay to be imperfect, it is not a restaurant. Once you go through with it, you will improve event by event – and remember that you are not making an event, you are making new friends, sharing food.”
One last thing, as an expat, which foods do you miss the most from your home country?
“The kind of food that I miss? Of course, fresh mediterranean fish!”