A political refugee from Iran who has become a cook in Deauville, Jawad shares a cuisine without borders

Javad and Paola, at the helm of the Ama restaurant menu. ©Le Pays d’Auge / M.-M. grinder

Behind the window overlooking the kitchen from which intoxicating smells escape, a broad smile stands out. Happy in the kitchen, in the midst of his spices, Javad can’t help but take a look when customers attack her plates, watching for the slightest reaction and creating contact with her smile.

Happy restaurant chef amawhich opened on July 14 at Deauville (Calvados), Javad is delighted to work for this new address in Deauville. “What appealed to me is that it’s a family project, he marvels. What I like here is that with Paola, my buddy, we write things and we don’t cook like elsewhere”.

From Iran to Caen

By working on the Côte Fleurie, this lover of spices and flavors can also keep in touch with Caen. The city where he really started to build his French life. A political refugee, Javad left theIran a few years ago, joining the Polandthen germanybefore reaching Calais in 2015, in what is called the jungle of Calais, to try to reach England. “I stayed there for nine months,” he says. It was hard, I did not expect that”. There, a friend advises him to go to Caen, to try to leave Ouistreham. This is how he landed at Caen station. “I spoke 7 languages ​​at that time, except French”, smiles the one who, today, masters the language well. Thanks to 115, he then found a first home. “I came from Calais where we were 7,000, then I had just arrived in Caen, I had a room to sleep, I found it crazy to have this welcome”. The next day, he was put in contact with members of the GA fighting against all evictions and then joined the squat in the Marais de Caen, the largest in Caen at the time. It was there that he started meeting people and networking.

Jawad puts new flavors on the plates. ©Le Pays d’Auge / M.-M. grinder

A kitchen without borders

He could have fallen into the pot as a child, but he first chose architecture. “Cooking is a family story, everyone has been working in this field for a long time with us,” he says. Me, I just worked in the kitchen to pay for my architecture studies in Iran”. And today, it is cooking that takes up most of his time. A passion he embraced in Caen. Soon after arriving, he met the association band of savages whom he knew how to seduce with his cuisine. An association that uses cooking in particular as a means of sharing and creating social ties, of which he joined the ranks. “For example, I was cooking at Wild Coffee “, he says. For the others, Javad took a liking to cooking. “I loved it, and then there was a very social side. I built a network very quickly because I offered different cuisine. It was not necessarily tastes that people knew well, ”says the man who has traveled to 22 countries. He has also worked in restaurants or during the refugee food festival by cooking for 600 middle school students in Bayeux, with the desire to pass on new flavors.

Javad and Paola, at the helm of the kitchen.
Javad and Paola, at the helm of the kitchen. (©The Pays d’Auge / M.-M. Remoleur)

In addition to honing his cooking skills, Javad took advantage of his life in Caen to take French lessons. “During confinement, I also worked at 115 and welcomed people who were on the street. It was symbolic for me because the first person who welcomed me in Caen was someone from 115. A few years later, it was my turn to help. I even cooked for a lot of migrants”. Solidarity in turn, this lover of flavors from elsewhere is now never far from the kitchens, where the former architect likes to build culinary journeys without borders, with great freedom.

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