Accompanied by Prince Harry, 34, and her mom, Doria Ragland (who flew in from Los Angeles for the occasion), the Kensington Palace celebration marked the publication of Together: Our Community Cookbook (available in Canada on September 25).
The 37-year-old said she was "so proud" to live in a city with London's diversity as she delivered her speech without any notes.
The book was inspired by Meghan's visit to the Hubb Community Kitchen in North Kensington, which could only open a few days a week for lack of funds.More news: Women die in flooded van driven by South Carolina deputies
"What a special occasion - the launch of a cook book that celebrates women, their recipes and the power of cooking in bringing people from all cultures together".
"Working on this project for the past nine months has been a tremendous labor of love".
Meghan Markle just slayed her first major speaking engagement as a royal!
Thomas Markle pulled out of the May's spectacular wedding ceremony at the queen's Windsor Castle home after undergoing heart surgery and amid controversy that he had staged photos with a paparazzi photographer. I mean, not even her never-ending family drama now being played out in the tabloids (we're looking at you, Thomas and Samantha Markle) can deter the duchess from her new royal duties.More news: Kim Jong Un wants 2nd meeting with Donald Trump, South Korea says
Guests sat down to the home-made dishes from the new cookbook including coconut chicken curry, aubergine masala and a range of chapatis and sharing dips, as well as caramelised plum upside-down cake, and spiced mint tea. Meghan continued, "That's a testament to what this means to people and I'm so proud of you". Proceeds from the book will help enable the kitchen to operate seven days a week, rather than just two, and help expand its community reach.
The Duchess, who said she "immediately felt connected" to the kitchen at the Al Manaar cultural centre, first visited in January and has made other secret trips to the centre to meet volunteers and learn more about their work.
"Meghan draws a lot of strength from her mother".More news: Liverpool hit 57-year high with dramatic slaying of PSG