The Syrian Supper Club came to life in July 2012; three friends, all sharing a profound sense of sadness at the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Syria, decided to do something to remind their friends in Syria that they had not been forgotten. With some sharp thinking and good noses for food Johnnie, Louisa and Rose held a Syrian inspired feast at their kitchen table to raise some money and like the greenest of raw almonds The Syrian Supper Club was born. George found his way to a Syrian Supper early on, and liked it so much he never left.
The roots of this story go further back, to a house in the old city of Damascus, by Bab Salaam where Louisa and Rose were lucky enough to live for a while. The Syrian Supper Club is inspired by their time there, the people they met and the food they ate.
To date we have raised over £100,000 through Syrian Suppers, our own and others. This money goes towards the aid projects in and around Syria run by our charity the 'Hands Up Foundation'. If you'd like to know more have a look at Hands Up's website.
The beauty of the Syrian Supper Club is its inclusivity – anyone can hold a supper. We want you, your friends and theirs to hold a supper or similar to raise funds. The more people do, the more funds and awareness we can raise for aid to Syria which is - after all - the aim of this game.
Syrian Suppers now take place around the world from Singapore and Istanbul to Washington D.C. and Wales.
Use Instagram hashtag #syriansupperclub to be featured on this page.Follow The Hands Up Foundation
At the E5 Bakehouse we are lucky enough to work with the brilliant Ruth Quinlan and a team of lovely volunteers — including Mabel whose Ma'amoul is unrivalled — all of them give their time and skill for free.
Ruth has fed everyone from prime ministers to pop stars and has a hand in so many pies you wouln't believe, everything from managing events for the brilliant Mazimas (which supports women from migrant and refugee communities - www.mazimas.co.uk), to teaching in primary schools for the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts as well as her own cookery classes. She started at the Eagle, compiling their book Big Flavours and Rough Edges, and was head chef at the Bermondsey Kitchen and E5 Bakehouse. She has also toured the world as a travelling chef and once toyed with becoming a tattooist in Ibiza - for our sake and yours, we're delighted she chose the wooden spoon and not the needle - the food she produces, we can vouch, is quite simply beautiful.
If you’d like to hold a Syrian Supper or other fundraising bonanza under the banner of the Syrian Supper Club, please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you! Then we can chat about what you might need from us and what we'll need from you.
For now, you can find out more about the appeals our charity, the Hands Up Foundation, is running and you can download the toolkit below, it is full of ideas on how to hold a Syrian Supper.
“Portrait of a war artist in Hackney - East End-based George Butler’s drawings have recorded the agony of Syria’s civil war. Now he aims to raise funds for its victims…”Evening Standard – April 2013
“The E5 Bakehouse hosts a Syrian-themed Christmas supper club, with a Middle Eastern feast of stuffed vine leaves, mouth-watering fattoush salads and fig and walnut pastries. Glut to your heart’s content, as all proceeds will go towards supporting urgent humanitarian relief in the country.”Vogue – November 2014