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World Refugee Day: Night 1

Growing up in Syria, Mouaz Ghouthani loved watching his mother cook. But his cooking journey didn’t begin until 2006, when he left the Syrian army and began cooking in a local restaurant. Just three years later, he was cooking a chef at a five-star restaurant in Damascus.

When security issues arose in Syria in 2011, Mouaz took his wife and three kids to Lebanon. While in Lebanon, he worked in restaurants and learning how to make popular Lebanese dishes like tabouleh. In 2013, Mouaz and his family moved to Jordan where he cooked in his friend’s restaurant, which he learned to create popular dishes like kapsa and mansaf.

In 2016, with the help of the International Rescue Committee, Mouaz and his family came to the U.S. as a refugees. Today he sells his dishes at the Tucker Farmers Market on Thursday afternoons and he would love to open a restaurant where he can combine his love for cooking, Middle Eastern cuisine, and provide a better life for his children.

The dishes in this menu reflect Mouaz’s journey as a refugee.

Shish Tawouk (Syria)

A kebab of chicken, onion, mushrooms, bell peppers, and tomatoes grilled on a skewer over a fire. Vegetarian/Vegan Option: Roasted Vegetable Kebab with Garlic Sauce

Kofta (Syria)

Fried balls of minced beef, onions, garlic, black pepper, cilantro

and Syrian spices covered in a red pepper, tomato sauce. Vegetarian/Vegan Option: Mushroom Kofta

Tabouleh (Lebanon)

A salad of diced parsley, tomato, onion, cucumber, bulgur wheat, and lettuce with a homemade dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and other spices. Vegan

Mansaf (the national dish of Jordan)

Chicken boiled for 2 hours in a yogurt broth seasoned with gamed, an Arabic spice. Served with rice cooked prepared with the yogurt broth. Vegetarian/Vegan Option: Vegetable Mansaf in vegetable broth

Riz eb Halib (Lebanon)

Literally translating as “rice in milk,” this rice pudding features milk, rice, blossom water, and sugar warmed in the oven. Vegetarian

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