Newcomer Kitchen expands with a new Syrian pop-up brunch, prepared by refugees | NOW Magazine

After the success of The Depanneur’s weekly dinners, Mirvish Village developer Westbank steps up to sponsor a Syrian brunch event at Butler’s Pantry


“Instead of just selling your last sandwich, why not go down in a Thelma and Louise blaze of glory?”

That was the pitch to Atique Azad, the proprietor of the Butler’s Pantry, a 25-year old Mirvish Village institution set to close at the end of 2016 to make way for the development replacing Honest Ed’s.

He thought, “what have I got to lose?” And just like that, Canada’s first Syrian Brunch Pop-Up was born. And it’s a hot ticket. December 4 is already sold out.

It’s the first official spin-off from Toronto’s Newcomer Kitchen, a project co-founded by Cara Benjamin-Pace and Len Senater at College Street’s The Depanneur that specializes in unique food experiences. Since April, more than 55 Syrian newcomer women have cooked a wide range of traditional dishes, and in the process, put over $25,000 directly into Toronto’s newcomer community.

Because each weekly dinner consistently sold out, the next challenge was to tackle Toronto’s most iconic meal: Sunday Brunch. After months of testing, tinkering and tasting, what may be the first Syrian Brunch Pop-Up in the world is ready to be experienced by a handful of lucky Torontonians.

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