A Process of Understanding with Ahmad at L’Artisan: Refugee Food Festival Day 3, 21.06.2018

Late last Thursday evening, the fourth chef of the Refugee Food Festival in Madrid, Ahmad A., could be found quietly sitting in an inviting corner of L’Artisan Furansu Kitchen restaurant listening to the happy buzz of diners enjoying her culinary skills. She was stealing some much needed rest after a long day preparing for the fourth meal of the festival and a fully booked restaurant. “Cooking gets me excited, I love doing it all the …

Embracing Diversity at Amicis with Chef Noor: Refugee Food Festival, Day 3, 21.06.2018

Amicis restaurant, tucked away in the maze of cobblestone streets near Plaza Mayor in the center of Madrid, was a welcoming refuge from the hot sun yesterday afternoon. Amicis is described as a place “to share food and drinks in a great environment with good friends,” and after spending only a few short minutes in its dining room I found this to be undoubtedly true. From the owner Maria who greeted me with a smile …

Samira’s Syrian Lunch: Refugee Food Festival Day 2, 20.06.2018

The first sight lunchtime diners got of Samira, their Syrian guest-chef for the afternoon, was in the occasional moments when she emerged from the kitchen a picture of calm control delivering her self-crafted cultural dishes to waiting tables with a humble smile, before disappearing again into the hot kitchen of her adopted workplace, Banibanoo. Her efforts signalled the second day and continued success of Madrid’s week-long Refugee Food Festival, co-organised by MFR and Chefugee. In …

Opening Night of Madrid Refugee Food Festival with Chef Pierre and El Mandela, 19.06.2018

At 10 pm last night, chef Pierre T. was still warmly greeting his guests, shaking their hands, and answering questions about various features of the dishes he had crafted for them. It had been a long day starting with an early morning ACNUR conference where he delivered a speech (and met Jesús Vazquez!), multiple interviews with the press, hours of prepping for the night’s sold-out dinner event, and finally putting the last touches on his …

“Just throw yourself in!”: Benefit Hike and Yoga, 27.05.2018

“The trick is to just throw yourself in, don’t think about it!” This was the teasing advice a bobbing head gave the rest of us who were edging our way into the icy waters of Pantano de San Juan. While this guidance may have been needed by those venturing in for a dip, there was no need for it to be said with regards to the day’s event as a whole as Madrid for Refugees, …