The ongoing conflict in Syria has caused the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, with the lives of more than 8 million children in danger, with many having lost family, friends and schools and have been forced to flee their homes. The risk of losing a generation grows with every day that the current situation deteriorates.
Throughout the month of November, chefs and restaurants across the city will be holding special events in aid of #CookForSyria, encouraging everyone – from the UK’s top chefs to people at home – to cook and raise money in aid of UNICEF’s Syria Relief fund via Next Generation London (UNICEF’s youth branch) in the hope that the initiative will then be continued globally.
Focused around Syrian cuisine, the nation-wide fundraising initiative curated by Instagrammer ClerkenwellBoy and SUITCASE Magazine features an impressive line-up on chefs and restaurants. The campaign will be split into two areas – special events and exclusive Syrian dishes on restaurant menus.
Here’s how you can get involved…
Events in November
Salon, in the heart of Brixton Market, will see head chef Nicolas Balfe cook a Tel Aviv-inspired supper club with vibrant food, interesting flavours, generous sharing dishes and specially created cocktails. Tickets are £39 including five courses and a welcome drink.
Michael Zee of Symmetry Breakfast is hosting a breakfast event like no other in collaboration with The Good Egg. Don’t expect to go home hungry; this homage to cuisine from the city of Aleppo consists of one Syrian-inspired large plate, five small breakfast plates, single origin filter coffee and a choice of a fig shrub cocktail or date, banana and tahini smoothie. Tickets are priced at £39
Arabica Bar and Kitchen in Borough Market invite guests to partake in a Syrian sharing-style feast including hot and cold meze, a choice of mains and Levantine desserts, all washed down with fresh mint tea. Once lunch has been devoured, a raffle and auction will take place to raise further funds for the #CookForSyria initiative, featuring some seriously foodcentric gifts. Tickets from £40
Honest Burgers are switching their trademark dish for their first ever kebab based menu. The ‘Honest Kebab’ will be made with British dry-aged chuck steak and rib cap – marinated in a tarragon green sauce and cooked in the doner style on a traditional rotisserie grill, before being sliced thin and stuffed in a khobez flatbread with Honest Burgers’ rosemary salted chips.
Tickets cost £20 for three courses, a beer and a welcome cocktail – with all money raised going to #CookForSyria
Throughout November, restaurateurs, chefs, bakers and café owners from around the UK will add a ‘Syrian inspired twist’ to one of their dishes (or by creating a new dish) and donate £2 from each sale of that dish.
Five of our favourites include:
- Crosstown Doughnuts – Cinnamon scrolls with # CookForSyria symbol
- Hoppers – Beef brisket curry, Ceylonese stretched roti, walnut chickpea and pistachio sambol, smoked aubergine and pomegranate raita, oxtail pickle
- Oklava – Winter fattoush with tamarind sticky beef, roasted pears, cavalo nero, bitter leaves and crispy Baharat bread
- Patty & Bun – Aged lamb burger with braised lamb shoulder, feta and garlic sauce plus Aleppo pepper relish
- The Providores and Tapa Room – Turkish eggs – two poached eggs, whipped yoghurt, hot Aleppo-chilli butter and toast