In the Hippocratic spirit of “let food be thy medicine” – but also our united inspiration – Athens is set to take part in the first European edition of the Refugee Food Festival, in which restaurants from across Europe open their kitchens to skilled refugee chefs between June 18 and 22.
After a successful debut in Paris in 2016, Athens – at the center stage of refugee awareness – now joins 12 other European cities (Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Lyon, Lille, Madrid, Florence, Rome, Milan, Bari, Brussels and Amsterdam) in a collective effort to redirect the dialogue about refugees.
Here in Athens, the humanitarian culinary initiative is being staged by Athens Insider and its sister publication Bonjour Athenes, in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the French association Food Sweet Food, to coincide with World Refugee Day on June 20. Over five days, five local Athens restaurants will add new dishes to their menus, created by five different refugee chefs to showcase their own cuisines – and to broaden the city’s gastronomic range.
All of the chefs taking part in the Refugee Food Festival are qualified professionals who are using their culinary skills as a gateway to professional and social integration in their new homeland.
The five chefs and their partner restaurants are Mahboubeh Tavakoli (Iranian cuisine) at Yi in Glyfada (Sunday, June 18), Barshank Haj Younes (Syrian-Kurdish cuisine) at Seychelles in Kerameikos (Monday, June 19), Hassan Hassan (Somali cuisine) at Vassilenas in the Hilton area (Tuesday, June 20 & Wednesday, June 21), Abdulrahman Al Hallak (Syrian cuisine) at 7 Food Sins in Plaka (Wednesday, June 21), and Reza Golami (Afghan cuisine) at IT in Kolonaki (Thursday, June 22). Sittings are booked directly through the restaurants. Visit www.refugeefoodfestival.com for details.
* This article has been contributed by Athens Insider.