Taste Tour Team - Yamane (Committee)
Meet Yamane / Committee + Senior Guide
Yamane grew up in France, and is of Lebanese descent. She fell in love and married her husband while doing her Masters degree and teaching French Literature in Lebanon. She followed her heart and moved to Australia. Food is an important aspect of culture for Yamane. She loves to share a meal with her family every day, and with family and friends on those many special occasions in Lebanese life that are celebrated with a feast. Yamane is a great cook, a digital story teller and a Taste Tour guide since 2013. She is now on our Committee and as a previous Senior Tour Guide, she could run pretty much all the tours, but you might meet her on the Food, Faith, Feast tour in Bonnyrigg, the Babylonian Delights tour in Fairfield, or the Global Explorer tour, also in Fairfield. Yamane has also trained guides and developed new products.
Why did you decide to join the Taste adventure?
I am passionate about food, people and culture. The whole Taste Tours experience was appealing to me because it joined all of these together: discovering new cultures whilst talking about food and meeting new people. It was also a good opportunity to start casual work.
What skills, knowledge and opportunities has this experience brought you?
I gained knowledge of different cuisines and cultures. I learnt how to entertain a crowd and manage public speaking. Being a tour guide opened more doors to develop additional skills in the community art sector.
What are you enjoying the most about being a tour guide for Taste?
Meeting people and talking about the beautiful communities that live in Western Sydney, showcasing their amazing richness in a positive way. Indeed, I enjoy a lot giving people that insight into the real life of those communities and shifting their perceptions.
How do you think Taste makes a difference (both to the local community and the customers)?
Taste definitely makes a difference in the way people perceive Western Sydney communities and businesses. For example, I run a tour in Bonnyrigg; who would spontaneously think about going there? Customers realise that these are diverse and rich areas with so much culture on offer – all of it through food of course. Also, it provides the businesses with more exposure and a voice to talk about themselves beyond their food as we get to hear their personal stories.
What else do you do when you’re not a tour guide?
I am a mother of two girls and I am quite involved in my kids’ school, doing volunteer work in the classroom and being in the P&C. I work at Information and Cultural Exchange's Family Creative Hub and I’m also a digital story teller: I work alongside art organisations and different community groups (young people, women, elders) to create stories via digital media. I also facilitate workshops for playgroups.
Could we hear one interesting story about you?
The first time I tried Vegemite, I thought it was Nutella. My brother in law had opened the fridge and asked me “Have you ever had this?”, showing me the Vegemite jar with a cheeky smile. It looked good, appealing, like some kind of chocolate spread. Having a very sweet tooth, I grabbed a spoon, plunged it in, and ate it all. You can imagine my disappointment! What was this taste? Since then, my family has teased me about it – and I still don’t like Vegemite that much.
A last word, what are your hopes for the future?
Taste Tours is a fantastic non-for-profit, social enterprise and I hope it keeps enlightening people and educating them about wanting to learn more about the others. This helps to create opportunities for Western Sydney communities to receive more recognition, because they are a rich and important part of the Australian society and I’d love to keep contributing in a creative and interesting way to their discovery.
What customers say about Yamane
“The Babylonian Delights tour was outstanding due to an informative, engaging guide who explained things so well and with such obvious passion for her job.” - May 2016
“Yamane's enthusiasm and knowledge made this a truly rich experience. Many thanks!” - Feb 2016