Who is in the Kitchen
Jerusalem-born Armenian Chefs for Peace founder and visionary, Kevork Alemian, has been a chef and in hotel management for 45 years. The initial idea to develop a collective of chefs from all three monotheistic faiths occurred to him while cooking with a small group of local Israeli and Palestinian chefs at a Slow Food festival in Italy more than a decade ago.
"I watched these three cooks -one Christian, one Muslim, and one Jew - working in perfect harmony in the kitchen where cooperation and communication are essential. It was very exciting. It suddenly popped into my mind that we should do something together on a sustained basis. I realized that all since all people have to eat, including chefs, why not cook and eat what we make together - but without any talk of politics. I felt it could work. We started by preparing meals for ourselves, and then the idea took shape as we began to cook for others."
Since our founding, more than thousands of people around the world have had their hearts, souls and bodies nourished as they have been
exposed to the message that breaking bread together is a tasty and powerful way to promote peace and fellowship between people of different faiths.
Our kitchen includes volunteer chefs from all three faiths who cook side by side preparing delicious local delicacies and reinterpreting classic dishes in ways which reflect an openness to new ideas. Having trained in top culinary institutions, both locally and internationally, our chefs work in five star restaurants and neighborhood cafes, as well as in hotel settings and in catering businesses.
While each chef has his or her own culinary style, when they come together it is because they share a love for food and believe that it is possible to promote cross-cultural understanding by bringing together people who may have never spoken, let alone sat at a table and enjoyed a meal with "the other." The special bond that has brought us together as Chef's for Peace is not only rooted in a love of food, but a love of people - people of all faiths and nationalities.
Over the years, our award-winning team of chefs, which totals some 20 men and women, has prepared both simple and elaborate meals for everyone from world leaders to individuals, both locally and around the world. Meet a few of our chefs below:
Anat Lev- Ari
Nabil Marcos Aho