Food is a great leveller and this week a pop up café will harness that power as guests ‘break bread for peace’. The Conflict Café, organised by peace-building charity International Alert is back for a second year from 9 September to 3 October with the aim of introducing guests to food from conflict zones across the world and raising funds for international peace building activities.
The pop up events, based in the arches of Waterloo rail station, will begin with the traditional food of Syria, cooked by Damascene chef Haitham Yassin. Diners will enjoy dishes such as fattet makdous, a dish of layered aubergines with lamb and a warm yoghurt sauce. On 13 September chefs of the moment Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich from Honey and Co. will be cooking brunch including their signature milk buns and sabich. The café then moves on through Nepal (Rajiv Kc), Columbia (Esnayder Cuartas), and Armenia and Turkey (when Armenian Natalie Griffith will cook with a Turkish chef).
It may almost sound clichéd now to say that ‘food brings people together’ but that doesn’t make it untrue. Food swipes aside political issues, at least temporarily, and provides a starting point for conversations without conflict. Londoners, as residents of one of the world’s most diverse cities will have the opportunity to come together and experience authentic cookery from some talented chefs while supporting a cause that could really make a difference.