By Leigh O'Connor.
Ever wondered what cabbies love to cook? An eye-opening new TV series, featuring Australian female celebrity Chef Anna Gare and a team of real-life taxi drivers, follows the creation of delicious dishes inspired by diverse family backgrounds from around the globe.
Airing on The Nine Network every Saturday and Sunday on 9GEM until December, Anna Gare’s Cab Fare is a 10-part series where Anna teams up with drivers from 13cabs, taking a ride together and delving into common ground topics such as food and eating experiences.
Throughout their trips, the drivers share their favourite recipes with Anna, who then demonstrates to viewers how to recreate the dishes at home.
Anna Gare with Karimullah Zarifi and his family. Photo: Tim Thatcher.
From a zingy French lemon tart to sweet and savoury Somali pancakes and Middle-Eastern inspired poached pears, there’s something to tempt all tastes. Each 30-minute episode closes with Anna throwing a surprise dinner party for the taxi driver and family at their home.
"Working with the 13cabs drivers has been a fantastic experience,” Anna says. "The idea for the show was born from inspiring conversations I have had with drivers, from all sorts of unique and diverse walks of life.
"The show uncovers traditional dishes from the driver’s homeland, while importantly delving into their personal experiences in transitioning their lives to Australia from countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, France, Cambodia, Somalia, Lebanon and the Middle East just to name a few.
"I hope through watching the show, others are inspired to have conversations with their cab drivers – whether it’s about the driver’s story or their favourite traditional dishes,” Anna says.
Sydney cab driver Karimullah Zarifi tells of his tumultuous journey from Afghanistan to Indonesia and a treacherous 15-day trip in a leaky fishing boat to reach Australia – all to provide a new life for his wife and eight children.
Karim's Lamb Kabuli Palau. Photo: Kitti Smallbone.
Things get spicy in the kitchen as Anna recreates Karim’s beautifully fragrant recipe for lamb kabuli palau, Afghanistan’s national dish of tender, buttery lamb, carrots and juicy raisins with the crunch of pistachios and almonds, served on a Middle Eastern bed of rice.
David Samuel, head of public affairs at 13cabs, says the taxi industry has helped shaped the role of inclusivity in Australia for more than 50 years, by integrating new Australians into the workforce and society.
"As we’ve long championed the people behind our brand, this show truly brings their wonderful personalities to the forefront. Our drivers are the heart of our business and we are proud they hail from more than 34 different countries from around the globe and we feel this show provides the perfect way to tell some of their unique and diverse stories.”