Chef Malakeh Jazmati enjoys what many would consider an enviable career in Berlin gastronomy. She’s authored a bestselling cookbook, has cooked for Angela Merkel, and recently won a catering contract for the upcoming Berlinale Gala. But when she first arrived to Berlin from Damascus in 2015, Jazmati felt at a loss, facing a “hard language, new area, new culture.”
She pulled herself out of this difficult phase by cooking, seeing food as a “common language” and a way to bridge barriers. Having previously studied Arabic Literature and Political & Diplomatic Science, it’s fitting that Jazmati sees her food as a way of passing on a message to the German people: refugees in Germany want to to live a “safe life,” and want to “give you something back.”
Photo by Marlene Melchior.