Refugee Chef

Say Syria, Afghanistan and Tibet and their cuisine will not be the first on your mind. However, the culinary diaspora of these countries are slowly changing perceptions by using food in a powerful way. In Refugee Chef, each episode will feature real-life people who have escaped wars and civil strife, and survive impossible odds to make their own tale of rags to riches come true. Behind each dish are stories of survival as refugees seek freedom from society in conflict. We will see how they struggle to make new lives with their family recipes and how cities have been enriched by their presence.


Genre: Documentary, Food, People & Culture, Social Interest
Language: English
Year: 2018

Duration: 6 Episodes x 30 Minutes
Territory/Rights available: Contact us for more details
Show Format: HD


Episode 1 – Queen of Nordic Vietnamese
As a teenager, Anh Le dreamt of introducing healthier Vietnamese food to the Danish diet. Today, her Vietnamese restaurant chain is an institution and she is a household name in Denmark. But it was only recently that she confronted her refugee past, and fought to make peace with herself.

Episode 2 – Hmong and Here
The Hmong are a stateless people who have lived in Vietnam, Laos, and China, but still have no country to call their own. Yia Vang is a Hmong refugee chef who believes that food embodies their cultural DNA, so he cooks to tell their story from his new home in Minneapolis, USA.

Episode 3 – Afghan at Last
For 28 years, Javad Ghaderi kept his Afghan nationality a secret. He was an asylum seeker for all of those years, and endured deportation 3 times. It was food that helped him at critical junctions, and now he is using Persian cuisine to solidify new friendships with locals in Wollongong, Australia.

Episode 4 – Beyond Bali
Anita Saborn is a former Indonesian refugee living in Paris. She arrived as a political refugee in the 70s, and their family run the first Indonesian restaurant in the city. When Anita took over the restaurant from her father, she decided to serve Indonesian food as it is – spicy and full-bodied.

Episode 5 – Redefining Shangri-La
Chef Dorjee was a Tibetan Buddhist monk before he settled down in USA. He decided the best way to answer the question of ‘Where are you from?’ is to give someone a taste of his homeland. Dorjee Momos, a refugee-owned, family-run Tibetan nomad food start-up, was born.

Episode 6 – Aleppo Supper Club
Haunted by the horrors of being jailed, tortured and losing his family in Syria, Ahmad finds refuge in London. To survive, he does anything and everything, including cook. As word-of-mouth of his home cooking spread, he started Aleppo Supper Club, a pop-up restaurant and catering service.