Imad Alarnab used to own two restaurants and several juice bars and cafes in Damascus, before they were destroyed in the country’s civil war.
He sought refugee status in the UK, where he has acted as an advisor for the #CookForSyria campaign, helping to raise money for Syrian children with the Unicef charity.
Now the chef is launching a two week pop-up in Bethnal Green from 9 March to kick-start his dream of rebuilding his business in the UK.
Imad’s Syrian Kitchen will serve a three-course set menu of traditional Syrian dishes such as fattoush (toasted flatbreads, pomegranate molasses, tomato and cucumber); kabsa (spicy chicken with cardamom and rice); and tabakh rohoo (aubergine, squash and tamarind stew).
The kitchen table-style restaurant will serve food on large platters to share, and will be staffed by Alarnab’s friends and fellow refugees living and working in London.
“I’m proud to share some of my favourite Syrian dishes with the people of London,” says Alarnab.
“What excites me most about this project is that I feel like I’ve met London for the first time. London is an old city, but it is full of young life. It means the future for me and most importantly my daughters. I’m looking forward to a new start here.”
The pop-up has been made possible by Appear Here, Unicef NEXTGeneration and The Hampstead Kitchen Feeding Fund.
Ten per cent of the ticket sales will go towards Unicef and #CookForSyria.
For more information and tickets click here.