Three Syrian refugee chefs who only arrived in Ireland a month ago are tonight cooking in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Galway.
Brothers Mhd Ahyam Orabi (26) and Ahmad Orabi (25), together with Amer Marai (28), are taking part in the 'Far-Fetched Dinner' event at the city's Loam restaurant.
They are cooking alongside chefs Damien Grey of Dublin’s Heron & Grey (from Australia), Takashi Miyazaki of Miyazaki in Cork (born in Japan) and Jess Murphy of Kai in Galway (originally from New Zealand).
The Syrian chefs worked in the hospitality sector in Damascus before the war forced them to leave.
"We have been generously supported in this project by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and by some of the exceptional producers that the four of us are privileged to use in our own restaurants on a daily basis," said Ms Murphy of Kai.
From a refugee camp to a Michelin-starred restaurant. Three Syrian chefs showcased their skills on a night to remember in Galway pic.twitter.com/aa4LSuDr7j— RTÉ News (@rtenews) October 30, 2017
"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 as refugees of a kind to try and ease other peoples' entry into this country, however we can."
The chefs hope the 'Far-Fetched Dinner' will also leave an important legacy.
"We have been working with GMIT (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology) and are delighted to announce that together we have established three funded scholarships in catering, specially designated for young chefs in direct provision.
"Training them in food, hospitality and chef skills, 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," said Ms Murphy.