Introducing MAZI

Melanie Vaxevanakis

MAZI, means ‘together’ in Greek

Together, we want to tackle food insecurity for 16 – 25 year olds living in supported accommodation. We want to share the power of food and it’s amazing stories with care leavers, young asylum seekers and youth recovering from homelessness.

I am Melanie. I am a photographer, filmmaker and the founder of MAZI.

I grew up in Athens, Greece which meant food has been a central part of my life ever since I was a little girl. For hours, my family would sit around the dinner table by the beach, sharing delicious food and passionate conversation before arguing about who would pay the bill.

Melanie Vaxevanakis
As you can see, rarely do I not have food in my hand.

Food has given me memories, experiences and knowledge I always carry with me. It has inspired me to explore new cultures, learn about where my ingredients come from and think about the environmental impact of what I eat.

I launched MAZI in January after seeing the horrendous food parcels provided to families in need in replacement of free school meal vouchers. It angered me that the quality of food and the flavours one could taste were determined by their social class and background. I decided to channel this frustration and find a way to address food inequality in my community.

I worked with care leavers and young asylum seekers throughout university and their stories and talents inspired me. However, I could see that they were excluded from some of Bristol’s conversation. This is why I decided to start MAZI, to try and change this.

By combining my passion for food and my skills as a filmmaker/photographer, I hope MAZI can address the food disparity in the city and include disadvantage young people in the Bristol food scene. Through our weekly recipe boxes, cooking classes and talks with industry professionals I hope to introduce them to new flavours, new career possibilities and most importantly, provide that tasty comfort we all need sometimes.

Melanie Vaxevanakis
I strongly believe and feel that sharing food and cooking for people or being cooked for is a sign of love. The dining table is an opportunity for connections to be made, to feel included and to feel taken care of. This is MAZI’S aim; to spread the love we all need to those who need it most.

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07913 669 426
Unit 2, St Catherines Trading Estate
Dalby Avenue, Bedminster
Bristol, BS3 4DJ