Features / Christmas

Migrant chefs share their festive recipes

By lowie trevena, Wednesday Nov 4, 2020

Migrateful, a charity helping asylum seekers, refugees and migrants to share their culinary skills with people in Bristol and beyond, has announced festive cookery sessions.

Since lockdown, Migrateful has moved online. Initially coming to Bristol in September 2019, running weekly workshops at Coexist Community Kitchen in Easton, the charity made the move online to stay afloat despite the pandemic, operate safely and promote cultural exchange during a difficult time.

Migrateful was founded in London in 2017 by Jess Thompson, who had spent many years working with refugees in Ceuta, Morocco and Dunkirk.

The charity works to promote cultural exchange, as well as help migrants assimilate into English life and gain skills while unable to access employment in the UK due to legal and linguistic barriers.

Migrateful’s cookery class vouchers can be used during the upcoming festive season to  spread some cheer, while helping the UK’s migrant communities too .

The charity launched virtual classes when lockdown was announced

“The coronavirus can infect us no matter our race, our religion, our politics or our social class. Many of us are now relying on government benefits to financially survive and on the NHS to stay alive,” says founder Jess Thompson.

“This experience reminds us that we, humans, can all be vulnerable and when we’re vulnerable it’s okay to need help.

“I hope that in the post-coronavirus world, this realisation compels us to meet our duty of care when we hear stories about refugees being forced to leave their homes for reasons out of their control.”

The charity works with more than 40 chefs to lead safe virtual classes. Lebanese, Syrian, Gambian, Pakistani, Albanian, Sri Lankan, Jamaican festive recipes will be taught by Zoom, while hearing all about the chef’s story and supporting refugees and migrants.

Migrateful came to Bristol in September 2019

Each participant will receive a Zoom meeting link to join the interactive cooking session, where a Migrateful chef will lead the group in cooking a festive meal together.

The funds from every gift voucher or group class purchased will go towards helping Migrateful further its mission of reaching and empowering refugees, migrants and asylum seekers.

All photos: Migrateful

Read more: Migrant chefs to hold virtual cookery sessions

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