Did you know that the name Ma Khin Café is a tribute to Steve Anderson’s great-grandmother, Ma Khin? Do you know the wonderful love story between his great-grandparents? Ma Khin was a pretty young Burmese woman from the Mon Talaing people, one of the many ethnic groups in Burma, now Myanmar. Ma Khin used to sell cheroots which she rolled herself for her customers in the market in Moulmein.
Steve’s great-grandfather, William Carr, was an English judge in colonial Burma. He fell in love with the young woman who sold him his cheroots in the market and he ended up marrying her. The newly-wed couple had to overcome all kinds of obstacles in an environment openly hostile to such liaisons between lovers on the two sides of the colonial divide.
Steve Anderson, owner and chef of Ma Khin Café, pays homage in his restaurant to the traditions and stories that have marked his family’s history. That’s why a visit to Ma Khin Café is a meeting between people, food and culture, and always with a warm welcome.
A little bit of history: the origin of Ma Khin Café
The story of Ma Khin, full of obstacles, hopes and illusions, but also setbacks and disappointments, is told in the book Burma: Food, Family and Conflict, written jointly by Steve Anderson and his sister Bridget, a professor of sociology at the University of Bristol.
Steve Anderson, owner and chef of Ma Khin Café, wished to pay homage in his restaurant to the traditions and stories that have marked his family’s history.
As the title suggests, the book brings together history and food. It includes Steve’s favourite recipes, some passed down from Grandy, his grandmother and daughter of Ma Khin, and others picked up on his trips to southeast Asia, all of which have been coloured by the influence of the culinary culture of Valencia, his adopted city.
Burma is still largely an unknown country, despite its size and strategic importance (bordering with Thailand, Laos, China, Bangladesh and India and roughly about one and a third times the size of Spain). Discover its history and explore recipes from the region in this fascinating and personal story. An ideal summer read.
You can buy “Burma: Food, Family and Conflict” on our webpage
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