Kamal Mouzawak Prince Claus Laureate

Kamal Portrait

Food, as anything else, should be a vehicle for human development… How can a society thrive or survive without its rural communities? ... How can we think of development in cities alone and forget that those cities and urban areas are fed by the rural?

Kamal Mouzawak's picture

Kamal Mouzawak

2016 Prince Claus Laureate

In Lebanon there is a great mix of ethnic groups, all with their own versions of history, tradition, religion and culture and often conflicting claims to politics.  But according to chef and food activist Kamal Mouzawak, there is one thing that can bring them all happily together around a table, and that is a delicious meal.

By promoting organic agriculture and reviving traditional foods, he has raised respect for the environment and for Lebanon’s different communities. With his farmer’s market Souk El Tayeb, string of restaurants, community outreach and bed and breakfast initiatives in rural areas, he has helped transform the lives of farmers, refugees and others on the margin. Tirelessly enthusiastic, Kamal is a convincing campaigner for the power of food to bring people together, to celebrate identity and embrace diversity.    

In 2016, Kamal Mouzawak received a Prince Claus Award. He supervised part of the dinner for international guests following the Awards Ceremony and, with support from the Fund, also organised a public “Freedom Feast” prepared by Syrian refugees in the Netherlands. The Freedom Feast was a neighbourhood dinner for 180 people held on 5 May 2017, to celebrate Dutch Liberation Day and also the 180 nationalities among people who call Amsterdam ‘home.’