Head chef at Chiltern Firehouse in London, Nuno Mendes has donated a mezze dish to the #CookForSyria campaign, adapted from the restaurant’s signature steak tartare dish.

Mendes’ interest in Syrian cuisine began long before he was asked to join the campaign: “I have always been fascinated by it and knew a fair amount already. It’s one of the oldest cuisines in the world, full of unique flavours from Persia to Palestine and beyond.”

Mendes brings to light the source of inspiration for his adapted #CookForSyria mezze dish and its Syrian influences: “In Syria and the Middle East there’s a mezze dish called kibbeh nayeh which is made with raw meat and various spices. We have taken the Chiltern Firehouse steak tartare and seasoned the meat with flavours common in Syrian cooking such as preserved lemons, pistachios, rose water, orange blossom, freekah and pulses. We’re serving it with warm Syrian flatbread and a hot sauce of dried mint and Aleppo pepper. I am really excited by this dish; I was so inspired by the flavours of Syria and where it took this dish – I absolutely love it.”

Recipes donated by Nuno Mendes and others can be found in the #CookForSyria Recipe Book, available for purchase on All profits will be donated to aid children affected by the crisis in Syria.

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