Following the inspiring success of #CookForSyria in the UK, Australia’s top kitchen talent join forces to do their bit for children displaced by the conflict in Syria. Throughout March, UNICEF Australia’s Syria Crisis Appeal for Children launches a month-long campaign where restaurateurs, chefs, bakers and café owners from around the country cook their favourite signature dishes, or create a new one, and put a ‘Syrian inspired twist’ on them. A donation of $3 from sales from each of the specially made dishes will be made to the #CookForSyria fund. Dishes include baharat quail with tamarind at Firedoor in Surry Hills, or pickled octopus with Aleppo pepper at Restaurant Hubert in Sydney’s CBD.
The full #CookForSyria campaign also includes sales of a Syrian-inspired cookbook with sales going towards the UN’s efforts for Syria. Social media sharing also encourages the sharing of recipes and positive contribution towards the initiative.
UNICEF Australia’s Syria Crisis Appeal aims to alleviate the hardship faced by more than eight million Syrian children in danger, who find themselves in perilous conditions due to the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II. Syrian children face a constant struggle for food, clean water and health care. Millions more have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt, where they are desperately trying to rebuild their lives in refugee camps. The conflict enters its seventh year in March.
Syria’s rich cultural heritage, with influences from across the Middle East and beyond, serve as a great source of inspiration for the participating chefs, with Syrian cuisine being of the oldest cuisines in the world.
Participating chefs include Andy Harmer (The Point), Thi Le (Anchovy), David Moyle (Franklin and Longson), David Thompson (Long Chim), Karen Martini and Shane Delia (Maha), Shaun Quade (Lume), Frank Camorra (Movida), Victor Liong (Lee Ho Fook), Jacques Reymond and Dave Verheul(Embla).
“I am looking forward to being a part of this campaign alongside a wonderful group of friends and colleagues, and creating and sharing dishes that respect the culture of the Middle East”, says Jacques Reymond from Embla.
David Thompson from Long Chim, who has visited Syria, is honoured to be invited to participate in the campaign. “I strongly believe in the cause and am very much looking forward to an amazing evening, working with my fellow chefs to create an unforgettable feast, and raising money to help provide life-saving support to children in Syria and surrounding countries who are displaced by the conflict”.
The campaign was initially put together by influential London Instagrammer, ClerkenwellBoy, and launched in London last year. “We hope that through the #CookForSyria campaign we will not only be able to raise significant and much needed money for Unicef Children of Syria Fund, but we will also increase awareness of the plight of children in the war-torn country”.
The original campaign launched in London saw the contributions of top British chefs including Jamie Oliver, Yotam Ottolenghi, Fergus Henderson, Angela Hartnett and Nuno Mendes. Over £125,000 was raised in the first month from pop-ups, supper-clubs, bake sales and participating restaurants.
The Melbourne event takes place at The Point on Monday 6th March at 6:30pm. Tickets are $329 per person and can be purchased at www.goldentix.com/e/cookforsyria.