At a moment when Europe's refugee crisis stands as one of the most controversial subjects across the continent, one French organization is on a mission promote unity, acceptance and the diverse cuisines of the people who've been forced to flee war-torn regions.
Mohammad El Khaldy, a Syrian chef who worked as a cook for 20 years in Damascus, fled his home country to avoid a series of bombings. Now, El Khaldy has teamed up to cook with Stephane Jego, chef and owner of L'Ami Jean, a traditional French bistro serving up Basque cuisine—one of eight collaborations between restaurants and refugees being highlighted at the world's first "Refugee Food Festival" in Paris. "We are making a taste that is from Syria, but in the French style," Khaldy tells The New York Times.
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A French organization called Les Cuistots Migrateurs—or, The Migratory Cooks—worked hand-in-hand with the festival to curate a food program that would not only please palates, but also spread an important message about acceptance and collaboration.