On a recent afternoon in a kitchen within the Long Island City community of Queens, chef Diaa Alhanoun drizzled olive oil over creamy hummus and garnished it with pita bread.
Diaa grew up in Syria. There, he barbecued meats and crispy kibbeh, or potato croquettes, full of minced red meat, onion, and spices, alongside his own family and buddies. He picked up the competencies from a cook in his uncle’s eating place in his place of origin of Damascus. “When I consume, or I cook Syrian food, I don’t forget when I was young,” he stated in this week’s episode of the Bite podcast. “When I changed into very younger, my mother cooked Syrian meals. So when I make it now, I keep in mind some of these moments.”
Before the crisis in Syria commenced, Diaa turned into Sudan with his family, looking to release a restaurant there. But when he wanted to depart, he couldn’t go back to Syria because the war had started. So he went to Jordan as an alternative, wondering the war would give up quickly and he’d be able to go back to Damascus. He waited 4 years in Jordan as a refugee before coming to the USA in 2016. He now lives in Staten Island along with his wife, son, and daughter.
Chef Diaa Alhanoun
Chef Diaa Alhanoun
Courtesy Eat Offbeat
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency facts, 12 million Syrians have been forcibly displaced at the end of 2016. That’s more than half of u . S .’s populace. In New York City, Diaa continues to prepare dinner Syrian food via a catering corporation referred to as Eat Offbeat, which employs refugees resettled in the city as cooks. Manal Kahi, co-founder and CEO of Eat Offbeat, mentions that her organization began with a craving for hummus. After coming to New York City from Lebanon in 2013 to attend graduate college at Columbia University, Kahi quickly realized she didn’t like the hummus on American supermarket cabinets. So Kahi made her very own hummus, primarily based on her grandmother’s recipe. Her brother, Wissam Kahi, recommended she promote it. This changed in the midst of the Syrian refugee disaster of their domestic usa of Lebanon.