Behind the Scenes at our First Ever Supper Club
Hopefully, you have been following us on social media, and seen how excited we were to host our first ever Supper Club last Friday.
The money we raised on the night will help keep our services going at a time when demand is on the rise – including our OpenARMS Programme, which supports our refugee, migrant and asylum-seeking guests.
We enjoyed the night so much that we’ve decided to re-live it all in this blog post, and give you a sneak peak into how it all came together.
Our Chefs for the evening were several refugee women that we support on the OpenARMS Programme. This not only provided an income stream for them, but also supports them in increasing their confidence and skills whilst they share their incredible recipes and cooking techniques with us. Here are two of them (Dalia on the left, Hasnae on the right) with Kieu-my Pam Thai, our incredible ‘consultant’ from our partner, 9 Kitchens.
The preparation for the event has been a whole-team affair, which included many trips to Arab supermarkets across Brent, several calls to family members to support with recipes, as well as heated discussions (there was a heatwave, remember!) on how each dish varies from country to country, and which variation we should serve our guests.
The menu was lovingly curated by both of our Chefs, alongside Zena (our Refugee Resettlement Officer) and Kieu-my of 9 Kitchens.
Dishes all carried sentimental and nostalgic value – including the Palestinian Ghreybe, a dessert commonly shared amongst women at a baby shower, baked especially for us to all share, celebrate and anticipate the birth of Dalia’s first child. The Moroccan Taktouka was also an important one for Hasnae, who remembers roasting pepper after pepper as a child to make Taktouka, and associating the smell with great memories of being surrounded by the many strong women in her family.
The Hearth was a perfect host to such an event. Not only is it a beautiful space, but the venue’s purpose speaks to the aims of the Supper Club event too. A women’s co-working space by day, and a female empowerment centre by night (hosting talks, events, wellness sessions and more), The Hearth is all about empowering and amplifying female voices.
Our guests were serenaded by world-renowned Oud player Ehsan Al Emam, who performed pieces for our guests. Our very own Zena Kazeme, Refugee Resettlement Officer by day and spoken word poet by night, also shared some Spoken Word with us. Both pieces of art were incredibly emotive and personal – we were very lucky to experience both performances in such intimate settings.
The evening was a lot of fun, and whilst we hope our guests enjoyed the event, we also hope that helped amplify the voices of those that we are here to serve and support.
This Refugee Week, we are showcasing the work of our OpenARMS Programme, shedding light on the plight of refugees, migrants and displaced people in our current society, and advocating for change. If you would like to support us, you can donate here.
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