March 29, 2023

#CookForIran event aims to keep regime’s human rights abuses under the spotlight

On 27 March, Piers Zangana, from the Persian Hospitality Network and Cook For Iran teamed up with leading food influencer Clerkenwell Boy to co-host an event with Zanaee - an organisation promoting successful Iranian women, aiming to raise awareness among media professionals.

The event, held at Persian restaurant Berenjak in London’s Soho, included a lunch of Persian specialities including masto khiar, kashk-e-bademjoon, zereskh pollo bar morgh, as well as a panel discussion.

Hosted by Glamour UK editor-in-chief and European editorial director Deborah Joseph, the panel included fashion designer Paria Farzaneh; Roxane Zand, founder of Zand Fine Arts consultancy; Noda Marvani, owner of Koocha Mezze Bar in Bristol; and consultant oculoplastic surgeon Dr Maryam Zamani. The panellists discussed the current movement, the role of women in Iran and their vision for the future of Iran.

Piers, co-founder of #CookForIran and the Persian Hospitality Network, said: “As the media cameras are no longer pointing in the direction of Iran, more and more people are being hurt, the oppression of my fellow Iranians has only worsened, and fewer people are seeing it. Events like this are hugely important because they keep the conversation going and bring people together.”

Civil unrest and protests highlighting the oppression of women and minorities in Iran have been ongoing following the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022.

#CookForIran was launched in October 2022 as the women’s rights movement in Iran was unfolding. 

The team is seeking to mobilise the food and hospitality community to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Iran, encouraging people to host their own #CookForIran dinner, supper club or bake sale, as well as providing a platform for Iranian families and their supporters to share recipes with each other and the stories behind them.

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