Hasan Alwarhani is staying true to his Syrian roots and is bringing a taste of home to Wellington.
“I left home in 2008 and as a young man the thing I missed most was the food, so I started cooking. I’d always be on the phone with my mum while she explained to me how things were done.”
Hasan says his mum’s a great cook and now he and his partner Flora are ensuring his ancestor’s cooking traditions live on, serving up Syrian-style pizza, manakesh, from their food truck.
“When we got to Wellington, we couldn’t find any real Middle Eastern food,” Hasan says.
“All my family are chefs – my partner too. Food for us is very important, it’s a time when family come together around yummy meals.”
The couple moved to New Zealand about seven years ago, and opened their food truck and catering business, Damascus, in 2017. They have a range of manakesh flavours – like beef and tahini, or homemade Syrian cheese – and vegan and gluten free options on their menu.