In a Sarajevo bookshop we found a cookbook in English called ‘Bosnian Cook’. I hunted for days to get the contact information for the author, Lamija Hadziosmanovic.

After my friend translated some articles I found, we tracked her down. She agreed to let me interview her and it was by far the highlight of my time in Sarajevo. It’s rare to be invited into someone’s home, so I was intrigued by how quickly she offered her flat as the best place to meet. I realized why as soon as we entered, it was full of gorgeous Bosnian furniture, dishes, blankets, and carpets. Every corner had a display meticulously set up and immaculately clean. My eye was drawn to a haunting black and white photo of a woman who she explained was her mother. It was one of her only possessions that survived the war, everything else I was looking at she had acquired since it had ended. After the war, Lamija’s home was a shell and though the pain was still very evident, the thing I took away from my time with her was her pride and the strength it must have taken to rebuild what she’d lost.