RefuFilms: Faraway Land


A few months ago, Madrid For Refugees hosted a Refufilms event, screening ‘Faraway Land’, a documentary directed by Josepmaria Anglès and Daniel Azpe, and shot in Athens in May 2017. Following the film screening, our very own events coordinator Juanfran convened a discussion between Angles, two refugee workers from Madrid; Jorge Villegas González and Esther Pérez Franco, and the audience, in order to reflect on the film’s

Taste of Morocco and Syria in Madrid


Written by: Ekaterina Kuznetsova

One thing you are missing when reading this article is the smell of the amazing food that was cooked by a very talented Moroccan chef Rachida. You are missing out on a lot, trust me. But let’s start from the beginning.

Rachida moved to Syria with her husband. Later she was forced to leave the country with him

The Closing Meal with Wesal and Restaurant Gigi, Refugee Food Festival Day 5, 24.06.2018


Wesal and the Gigi team

It was hard to believe that we had reached the final day of the Refugee Food Festival in Madrid sitting on the terrace outside Restaurant Gigi with the rich aromas of chef Wesal’s traditional Syrian flavours wafting through the air. Throughout the week eight fully-booked restaurants have flung open their kitchen doors to seven refugee and asylum seeker

Building Bridges with Rachida at Ochenta Nextdoor, Refugee Food Festival Day 4, 23.06.2018


Oscar and Rachida in the Ochenta Next Door kitchen

The long, open kitchen of Ochenta Nextdoor is on display for the whole restaurant to behold. You are able to watch as the row of dexterous hands, like some culinary conveyor belt, pieces together mouth-watering creations. The operators this evening were the guest Moroccan chef Rachida and the restaurant owner Oscar, and when I

Storytelling with Valentín at Elektra, Refugee Food Festival Day 5, 23.06.2018


Valentín’s brunch buffet “hecho en Venezuela” (made in Venezuela)

“He loves talking to people about his food,” another MFR volunteer told me as I arrived to Saturday’s brunch event at Restaurante Elektra. “He has a story for every different type of arepa.” Chef José Valentín was standing behind the buffet table on Elektra’s shady terrace, serving a wide variety of his favorite dishes:

Cross-Cultural Collaboration with Chef Wesal and Barrutia y El 9, Refugee Food Festival Day 4, 23.06.2018


All smiles at Barrutia y El 9

Walking through the doors at Barrutia y El 9 feels special. It’s the kind of picturesque, old-school Spanish bar that’s becoming more and more difficult to find in Madrid. The walls are covered with ornate tiles and the bar itself, while small, features all of the basic necessities: cold beer and herbed olives waiting

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


Ahmad and restaurant owner Stephane

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

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


The lovely and lively Amicis team

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

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

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