World Refugee Day Event: Virtual Cooking Demonstration with Foodhini

21 June 2022 at 12:00pm

In honor of World Refugee Day, JRS/USA hosted a virtual cooking demonstration featuring Chef Zainab from Foodhini.

We invited people to cook along Chef Zainab as she walked everyone through the steps to prepared a traditional Afghan dish, Lubya Kidney Bean Stew. In addition to watching the recording of the event above, you can download the recipe for a crowd here, and the recipe for 2-3 people here.

About Chef Zainab

Zainab was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan. She learned to cook with her mother at fifteen years old, always fascinated by learning the craft. By the following year, Zainab had taken over the family kitchen. While her mother worked at a neighboring wheat and flour factory, Zainab was in charge of cooking for her mother and seven other siblings. Not only did she cook for her family, but she was also in charge of cooking for any guest that visited her home. By that time, she had completed her ninth grade education, which was the highest level allowed for girls by the Taliban.

Soon after, Zainab worked at a restaurant in the ministry. This was her first time cooking professionally. While there, Zainab worked and supported a popular chef who cooked for the Afghan president, press, and staff. When she got engaged, she returned home to take care of her family. She would then move on to cook for an Iranian construction company that her husband also worked for. Her food was so good, the boss offered to get her a visa so she could come to Iran and cook for him. She ultimately said no, as she didn’t want to leave her family, and went on to cook at a hotel restaurant. She worked both as a support chef and a chef for about a year. It was here that she honed her craft. While most people specialized in a single dish, Zainab dabbled in everything. She loved working there because she was able to cook some of her favorite foods. She would cook amazing dishes like mantu, qabuli, and ashak.

In October of 2019, Zainab and her husband brought their family to America on a Special Immigrant Visa. They came looking for new opportunities for themselves and their family. While Zainab loves cooking, she truly loves how food can make people feel. Zainab wants people to taste and enjoy new and different foods. She loves how cooking can bring people together and how sharing meals together can create lasting memories. When people eat her food, their joy brings her joy.

About Foodhini

Foodhini uses the power of food to create sustainable jobs and economic mobility for immigrant & refugee communities, while at the same time provides epic tastes from around the world for everyone to enjoy.   

Foodhini partners with budding home-taught chefs from diverse immigrant & refugee communities and celebrates their stories, heritage, and cultures through their delicious foods.