Chefs back #CookForIran campaign

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

UK chefs back #CookForIran campaign

Related tags #CookForIran Yotam Ottolenghi Nieves Barragon-Mohacho Chef Charity Sally Abe

Chefs including Yotam Ottolenghi and Berenjak founder Kian Samyani have pledged their support for #CookForIran - a new global advocacy initiative launched in support of women in Iran.

Curated by humanitarian Layla Yarjani, hospitality PRs Gemma Bell and Piers Zangana, industry influencer ClerkenwellBoy and tech executive Omid Scheybani, the initiative aims to use food as a vehicle to amplify the voices of those who have been campaigning inside Iran since the middle of September.

As part of the campaign, restaurateurs, chefs, bakers, café owners and food writers from around the world are invited to take part in #CookForIran by sharing Iranian recipes, putting an ‘Iranian inspired twist’ on one of their favourite signature dishes, creating a new dish, or showing support via social media platforms.

It follows the sucess of the group's #CookForSyria and #CookForUkraine campaigns in previous years.

Other major names from the UK hospitality world who have already pledged their support for #CookForIran include Imad Alaranab, chef and owner of Imad’s Syrian Kitchen; Leyli Homayoonfar, who runs Bab Haus in South Wales; and Cyrus Todiwala.

In a statement, the #CookForIran team said: “We hope that through the #CookForIran campaign we will raise further awareness and support for the current movement around the world, demanding human rights and women’s rights for the Iranian people.

“Our goal is to keep the movement alive while the Iranian people and the community find a solution.

“Through cooking, sharing recipes and the power of social media, we invite everyone to help keep attention on Iran as the country goes through this period of change toward a free future.”

Iranian cuisine (Iran is modern-day Persia and the food and culture is also called Persian) is one of the oldest in the world and reflects the country’s cultural heritage with influences from across the Middle East and beyond. Key ingredients include saffron, pomegranate and pomegranate molasses, pistachios, dried rose petals, rose water, walnuts, fresh herbs and turmeric.

Free Recipes and ‘How to Host a Supper Club’ videos and toolkits will also be shared on the @CookForIran Instagram page​ for the public to host their own dinners.

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