Thursday 19 September 2019

Food news: Far-fetched dinner at Loam


Damien Grey prepares some food at the Michelin Star restaurant Heron and Grey in the Blackrock Market. Photo: Tony Gavin
Damien Grey prepares some food at the Michelin Star restaurant Heron and Grey in the Blackrock Market. Photo: Tony Gavin
Katy McGuinness

Katy McGuinness

Tomorrow night, a group of Syrian and Irish-based chefs will come together to put on a 'Far-Fetched Dinner' in Loam Restaurant in Galway, with proceeds going to aid the refugee chefs. The aim of the night is to highlight the universal and democratic power of the table.

Many of the chefs working in Ireland are foreign-born, and four of the best-known are behind tomorrow night's event, on which they will collaborate with five Syrian colleagues.

Australian Damien Grey (pictured above), is the Michelin-starred chef at Heron & Grey in Blackrock, Dublin, while Takashi Miyazaki of Miyazaki in Cork was born in Japan. Jess Murphy of Kai in Galway is originally from New Zealand, while the Michelin-starred Mickael Viljanen of The Greenhouse in Dublin is a Finn.

As Ireland has become home to these talented chefs, they want to pass on the same welcome that they have experienced in this country to new refugee chefs.

"We are asking the public along to enjoy a night of big flavours and big hearts," says Jess Murphy. "As a bunch of immigrants, we have all had our own experiences of feeling like aliens in a foreign land. It makes sense to us to try and ease other people's entry into this country, however we can."

The event is being supported by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and by some of the producers that the four Irish-based chefs work with in their own restaurants.

There is a chronic shortage of chefs in the Irish hospitality industry, and tomorrow's dinner is designed to leave an important and lasting legacy.

"We have been working with GMIT [Galway Mayo Institute of Technology]," says Damien Grey, "and are delighted to announce that together we have established three funded scholarships in catering, specially designated for young chefs in direct provision. This means our joint dinner is not just a one-off, but an event with a real and lasting impact, hopefully allowing for the accelerated professional integration of these three students."

With music from the Galway Ukulele Orchestra and documenting of the evening by Heavy Man Films, the Far-Fetched Dinner begins at 6.30pm in Loam tomorrow. Shane Murphy of Findlater Wines - another ex-pat Australian, originally from Melbourne - is providing matching wines, all made by immigrants.

Tickets cost €120 and are available from tickets-38848537020.




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