The Refugee food festival aims to be a showcase and a springboard for refugee cooks. A chef hosted for 2 days a refugee chef and the duo offer a mutually inspired menu. Everyone learns from the other and the customer enjoys it.
The season of festivals is spawned. In the middle of all the cultural programming, there is a rather special event, the Refugee food festival. Here we also talk about culture but about the one that fills our bellies and our plates. Good food around the world and more particularly in suffering countries. “The Refugee Food project aims to evaluate the views of refugees, facilitate their professional integration into the catering industry, work for fair, sustainable and diversified food for all.“. It is available in 12 cities in France including Lyon until June 26.
This initiative is due to the association Refugee Food which, throughout the year, has been in contact with restaurant owners and refugees from all over the world. “The festival serves as a showcase for them to have their restoration project evaluated.“explains Guillaume Schwoob, organizer of the festival in Lyon.
Pierre Tardy, alias Pierrot, chef of the restaurant”A very long time ago” in the 9th arrondissement of Lyon, hosted the syrian chef Layal Khateeb. They prepared together for the event and shared the same stoves for two days to offer a common menu that combines their respective inspirations. “What is beautiful and strong is that the first time she came, we had things tasted. Me, I had to work typically French and she, typically Syrian. It was a great moment of sharing“.
The two chefs feed each other and have been able to enrich their practice to have their technique evaluated. Pierrot was amazed by Layal’s dessert.
Layal was welcomed in France 5 years ago. At the time, she did not speak French.
This former Arabic language teacher used the kitchen to fit in. One language, universal. “We are two chefs in the kitchen and no one ever asks me where I come from and I never ask where he comes from. When people talk, they draw boundaries between them. In the kitchen, we never ask ourselves what kind of question. It’s a good dish and that’s the most important thing!“
Layal is now a caterer. She cooks Syrian-inspired menus such as the delicious dessert, which she offered during the festival with a name that is a bit difficult to say: “Halaweh Bljebn”. A cake made from semolina, cheese and orange blossom, a recipe she got from her mother and to which she has promised to remain faithful to the nearest gram. The result is soft and tasty as desired, as confirmed by a customer on the terrace. “It’s super good with very different tastes“.
The Festival takes place until June 19, in 12 cities in France. 8 chefs are taking part in the Lyon edition this year.
video length: 02min 14
Le Refuge gastronomic festival