#CookForSyria – doing good deliciously

What’s it all about?

We’re all about doing as much good as we can, as often as we can. So when the chance came up to raise money for #CookForSyria, how could we say no?

#CookForSyria is an international initiative to preserve and celebrate Syrian culture during its devastating civil war. And that’s not all. It’s also encouraging everyone, from the UK’s top chefs to people at home, to cook and raise money in aid of UNICEF’s Children of Syria fund.

The ongoing conflict in Syria has caused the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II. The lives of more than eight million children are in danger. The risk of losing a generation grows with every day that the current situation deteriorates.

The best food, the best people, the best cause…

So, what are we doing about it? Well, we’re doing what we know best. We’re hosting a supper club at Flat Three, in Holland Park, London! Eek! It’s looking really great so far, with guests including Tom Aikens, Marianne Lumb, Lee Westcott, The Fat Duck development chef’s and Graham Garrett. Yep, you read right. Our friend Eddie Shepherd from the Walled Gardens Supper Club will also be there, and many others.

As 1st November is also World Vegan day Pavel Kanja at Flat Three has devised a special vegan tasting menu for the evening, combining fermented foods with regional Syrian flavours. You can’t imagine how excited we are about both the food and the company. Unfortunately it’s invite only, but if you’d like to donate to this brilliant cause you can do so with our blessing – we have a JustGiving page and will be holding a raffle on our website with some unique prizes throughout November, so you don’t feel too left out!

Food is key to Syrian culture, which is big on generosity and hospitality. For Syrian exiles, food is more than a means of sustenance. It is a reminder of a rich and diverse culture being destroyed by civil war.

#CookForSyria yourself!

If you fancy having  go yourself, check this website out for really authentic recipes. You can also have a look on the #CookForSyria website for restaurant-style recipes.

If you’re going to try one thing though, let it be baklava. One of the best things ever invented by human kind, surely? Crisply crumbling, buttery layers of filo pastry encasing layers of nuts, cinnamon and sugar, drenched in aromatic syrup. Divine.

We love The Guardian’s ‘How to cook the perfect…’ series for it’s unflinching devotion to culinary perfection. In this recipe, Felicity Cloake really does her research, testing different kinds of nuts, pastries and flavouring to come up with the perfect baklava. It’s heaven, trust us.

So go on, have a go – and if you fancy hosting your own fundraising supper for #CookForSyria, do so with our very best wishes.

We are active on Facebook and Instagram – both @kitchenlabuk. Do follow, like, comment and be part of the conversation.

Mat, KitchenLab UK

*STOP PRESS* We just heard that the founder of #CookForSyria, the infamous foodie Clerkenwell Boy, has won this year’s Observer Food Award for Best Ethical Food Project. Brilliant!