#CookforSyria is nearly coming to an end – a month-long campaign celebrating Syrian food in aid of a very worthy cause. In case you haven’t heard about it, restaurants, chefs and home cooks around London and the UK have been raising money for children whose lives have been torn apart by the conflict in Syria.
When I read about the crisis I always feel so grateful for what we have – in Syria, people’s lives have been put on hold and with all the displacement they’re going through, they have to make a home wherever they find it. It makes me think of those who no longer enjoy the luxury of cooking a meal for themselves and their families in their kitchen.
Which is why I had to attend the #CookforSyria Supper Club organised by Latitudinal Cuisine and Impact Hub Brixton. 40 participants each contributed one dish (I made a walnut and orange baklava). I got to try so many wonderful dishes that I wished I had the recipe for each one. The highlight of the evening was hearing stories of a few performers in the play Borderline, who were refugees in the Jungle in Calais. One of the actors, also a talented singer, sang Abba’s ‘I Have a Dream’ with an Arabic lilt and moved some of us to tears as we recalled his struggles to get to safety.
It was such a privilege to have been part of that event. We enjoyed all the ingredients that probably make a dinner party in a Syrian home – bonding over wholesome food and good conversation, a little music. Let’s hope that the people of Syria will soon be able to reclaim that pleasure.
Here’s how London’s top chefs took part in #CookforSyria.