For those travelling to Greece this summer, from June 17 to June 20, 2024, Athens will host the Cooking #WithRefugees Festival, a unique culinary event celebrating World Refugee Day (June 20).

Organised by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, the festival combines Greek culinary traditions with flavours and memories brought by refugee chefs living in Greece.

The festival is also supported by organisations that help refugees broaden their skillset and access opportunities, such as METAdrasi, Saffron Kitchen Project, and Hidden Goddess.

Odyssea, which implements the vocational training program of the Refugee Women Academy, is also a key partner.

Cooking #WithRefugees brings together chefs from Afghanistan, Guinea, Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria, who will showcase their culinary talents in five renowned restaurants and cafés across Athens.

Visitors can experience a blend of cultures through the universal language of food, discovering the talents, potential, and dreams of refugees striving to integrate into Greek society.

The culinary fusion events feature collaborations with some of Greece’s most acclaimed chefs:

Khane and Renowned Chefs at Dopios Restaurant

On Monday, June 17 and Tuesday, June 18, after 6pm., Khane Habdulla from Iraq will share her culinary skills at Dopios, a favourite mezze restaurant in Athens. She will collaborate with Christoforos Peskias and Rita Kavvatha, presenting Kurdish kubbeh and a unique twist on classic stuffed vegetables (dolma).

Giannis Markadakis, Diallo Safaye, and Kleomenis Zournatzis at Seychelles restaurant, where they will join forces with Fotis Fotinoglou. Photo: UNHCR/Socrates Baltagiannis

Diallo at Seychelles Restaurant

On Tuesday, June 18, after 6pm, Diallo Safaye from Guinea will join Fotis Fotinoglou, Kleomenis Zournatzis, and Giannis Markadakis at Seychelles restaurant. Known for creating dishes from local ingredients, the chefs will blend Guinean recipes with Greek and Italian cuisine, offering a delightful fusion of flavours.

Dimitris Stratis, Mamadou Oury Diallo, and Alexandros Charalabopoulos will combine their flavors at the cool Lokali. Photo: UNHCR/Socrates Baltagiannis

Mamadou at Locali Restaurant

On Wednesday, June 19, after 6pm, Mamadou Oury Diallo from Guinea will showcase his culinary talents at Lokali, a popular spot in Psyrri. Together with chefs Alexandros Charalabopoulos and Dimitris Stratis, Mamadou will offer exotic dishes including hibiscus juice, spicy ceviche, and the vegetarian dish Fouti lafidi.

A female culinary duo, Mrs Aram and Mrs Feyrouz, will blend memories and flavors at Feyrouz. Photo: UNHCR/Socrates Baltagiannis

Mahboubeh at Feyrouz

On Wednesday, June 19, from 2pm tp 5pm, Mahboubeh Dorostkar from Iran will collaborate with Feyrouz-Eleni Kiltsiksi at Feyrouz. This popular street food spot in Athens blends Balkan and Levantine culinary traditions, and together, they will create a unique street food experience.

Thomas Avlakiotis will join forces with Sardar Hasemi from Afghanistan in a collaboration with special symbolic significance. Photo: UNHCR/Socrates Baltagiannis

Sardar at Myrtillo Café

On Thursday, June 20, after 5pm, Sardar Hasemi from Afghanistan will join Thomas Avlakiotis at Myrtillo café. This social cooperative enterprise employs people with disabilities and will host a special event featuring orange-infused pie, minced meat pies, and a cardamom dessert.

Blessing Ibeakam and Gogo Delogianni await us at the colorful Galiantra canteen. Photo: UNHCR/Socrates Baltagiannis

Blessing at Galiantra Canteen

On Thursday, June 20, after 6pm, Blessing Ibeakam from Nigeria will team up with Gogo Delogianni at Galiantra canteen. Known for its interesting street food, Galiantra will offer a delicious menu featuring fried potatoes, fried plantains, and more.

Beyond Athens

This year, the Cooking #WithRefugees Festival will also feature special parallel events outside of Athens. Details to be announce.

Reservations should be made early by contacting the participating restaurants directly.