Memorandum of Understanding

MoU food: An entrée to development

Episode Notes

Aid is a darned sight livelier than that that is described in the bloodless language of official records and reports. So what do chlorinated phrases in development like capacity building look like when done right? We begin in Dili, Timor Leste, at Agora Food Studio, a restaurant set up by two slightly world-weary aid workers who found that they could achieve more in setting up a place that celebrates East Timorese food and developing East Timorese chefs and restauranteurs than through all those reports that they'd previously been slaving over.

We hear from Alva Lim and Mark Notaras, the two architects of Agora, as well as the restaurant’s project manager Paula Torres. Paula’s parents, Petrolina Torres and Paulo Soares da Cruz can be heard speaking in Tetun throughout the podcast. We also talk to the author of a work-in-progress Tetun-English idiom dictionary, Anacleto Ribeiro, to learn why food is the perfect entrée into understanding Timor Leste, and an ideal model for thinking about development.


The full menu: Agora Food Studio/ Timor Leste Food Lab: Twitter | Website

Recommended reading: Much of the material we had to fillet out of the podcast has been condensed into a piece for the Development Policy Centre blog

Behind the curtain: We are on air thanks to the ANU’s Development Policy Centre.

Visual credits: Photo courtesy of Agora Food Studio.