Abdullah Al Awayed, head chef at Damascus Chef, grew up in a small farming village in Syria's North Easterly Fertile Crescent, in an area that is locally known as the "Jazira" region, which lies between the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers.
Life revolved around raising and tending to the ingredients and hospitality and the overarching importance of making and sharing food was ingrained in the whole community. He left home at 18 for Damascus, over 600 km away.
As a sous chef, and eventually a hotel manager in the old city, he learned the versatility of the each ingredient, without losing touch with his instincts for foraging, herding, growing and rearing his own ingredients and the Bedouin kitchen lore of his childhood.
He left Syria with his partner Fabienne, a Londoner in 2012, and their son, and after living in Amman for almost a year, they came to live in the UK.
At our popups, you'll find Abdullah working wonders in the kitchen and our team of Syrian super-star waiters - all of whom have sought refuge here from events Northern Syria in the UK over the past four years, at front of house. Please bear in mind that while our waiters may not understand every single English idiom, they are all fully versed in the ins and the outs of Syria's food heritage (as well as a million other things) - so if you're in the mood, get chatting.