MFR believes food is a powerful way to bring people and different cultures together. We’ve developed various culinary initiatives:
In 2016, the MFR team started organizing Chefugee events—where talented refugee and asylum seeker chefs share their culture and prepare traditional cuisine from their native countries in homes, restaurants and public spaces in Madrid. There have been over 35 events in the years since, and over 1,000 people have participated. Chefs come from various countries such as Syria, Cameroon, Morocco, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Venezuela and Ukraine. Chefugee is also a key partner of the Refugee Food Festival, run by Food Sweet Food and UNHCR in June (2017-2019).
In 2019, Chefugee became its own association and continues to partner with MFR as a sister organization. Find out more about their culinary events at chefugee.org
MFR launched Cooking Solidario in 2018. The program consists of cooking classes taught by refugees with a passion for the cuisine of their country. Chefs gain leadership skills and self-confidence, while also facilitating an intercultural exchange with the international participants. Funds raised from the classes are donated to the chef and to MFR. To date, MFR has organized cooking classes led by over 12 chefs from different countries, including: Syria, Venezuela, Morocco, Egypt, Ukraine, Palestine, Armenia, Jamaica, Nigeria, and Sudan. Many of the chefs are part of both Chefugee and Cooking Solidario initiatives, further expanding their opportunities.
During the pandemic, the Cooking Solidario team devised a creative way to continue helping and motivating our chefs through a new digital cookbook with easy-to-make recipes at home. Check out the cookbook.
Inspired by the success of the Chefugee and Cooking Solidario initiatives, members of the MFR team joined forces with new collaborators to start Refusion Delivery which was in operation from 2019 to 2021. It was a social business and authentic restaurant that featured refugee chefs. Refusion was created as a way to offer meaningful employment and a supportive environment for refugees. Refusion’s team included chefs from Syria, Sudan, Venezuela, and Morocco. See Refusion featured in a video and article on El País.