A Whole New Picha Experience

A Whole New Picha Experience

When we talk about Picha Experiences, what crosses your mind?

Great food? Passionate people? Impactful stories? Positive vibes?

What about all of the above, and more? 😉

Back in 2016, we started organising Picha Open House, bringing a special experience to our Picha Heroes where you get to enjoy a feast at the home of our Picha Chefs and hear about their personal journey at the same time.

The reason why we decided to host the Picha Open House was simple – which is to allow more people to experience the hospitality of all Picha Chefs, break stereotypes of how media portray refugees as, and to build relationships through food and personal conversations.

The Picha Open House then evolved into bigger events in 2017 – where we celebrated Valentine’s Day, Raya, Christmas, Women’s Day and more. For the past 3 years, we have hosted more than 120 open houses and organised more than 12 events, bringing the Picha Experience near to 3000 Picha Heroes.

This year, we told ourselves – let’s up our game and create more experiences for our Picha Heroes –

experiences that celebrate food;

experiences that create a movement;

experiences that tell stories;

and experiences that can show you more about the world that is out of our little bubble of comfort.

*cue Aladdin’s theme song, I can show you the worlddd*

We want to bring to you events that are beyond food and fun, and give you the unforgettable Picha Experience that you can’t find anywhere else!

As we are entering the second half of 2019, let’s take a quick look back at some of the experiences highlights we had this year!

#1 – East Meets West – Valentine’s Special

We kick-started 2019 with a delicious twist of recipes from the East & the West, specially curated by Chef Mei all the way from the United States for Valentine’s Day!

Many of our Picha Heroes have tried the heavenly mantu, but what about Mantu paired with Italian Basil Pesto & Sun-dried Tomato Sauce? Or Chef Dalia’s Palestinian Roasted Chicken, served with Mexican Mole Sauce and Chocolate? Or Chef Muna’s Signature Brownies, served with French Ginger Custard Sauce and Lavender Whipped Cream? *yummmmsss*

Photo credit: Joe Kit Yong

On this special night, we hosted 15 lovely couples for a 5-course meal! The night ended with a special sharing by Chef Dalia about her love story with her husband.

Photo credit: Joe Kit Yong

This Valentine’s Dinner did not only introduce our Picha Heroes to a different culinary blend of ingredients and taste, but it also opened their eyes and hearts to the reality that many refugee couples around the world are facing through Chef Dalia’s sharing. 

#2 – To My Younger Self – International Women’s Day Special

On International Women’s Day, we collaborated with Sculptureatwork and brought our artsy side to the table! (and brunch – we brought brunch too :P)

#ToMyYoungerSelf highlights the life journey of Chef Nesreen through a simple question, “What is your message to your younger self?”

Photo credit: Joe Kit Yong

Her sharing shed light on how was life for her when she was younger. What were her hopes and dreams, how did she fight through crushed dreams and shattered hopes, and what makes her the strong woman she is today? And most importantly, what is the one message that she would say to her younger self?

Following the sharing, our Picha Heroes proceeded for a live sketching session with Chef Nesreen as the live model, expressing the story that they’ve heard back onto the canvas.

Photo credit: Joe Kit Yong

No matter if you’re an artist or not, it’s always therapeutic to grab some brushes and express yourself on the canvas. Well, if you’re not artsy at all, it’s pretty therapeutic to enjoy some good brunch from Picha too, right?

Photo credit: Joe Kit Yong

#3 – Hummus Challenge

The hummus challenge is a special experience available for private booking, best for team buildings or company activities!

This 2-hour Hummus Challenge will start with a step-by-step guide on how to make not just one, but three hummus – specially taught by Chef Rania from Syria. If you’re a fan of our Hummus Trio – this Hummus Challenge is for you!

So, what’s next after learning how to make Chef Rania’s signature hummus? It’s called a challenge for a reason right?

After you’ve seen how the hummus is made, it’s time for you to shake up your creativity and teamwork, and create your very own hummus platters with some very special rules (this shall be kept a secret!)

Picha’s Hummus Challenge is beyond just team-building, but it widens the world view of the team to see what’s happening around the world, and learn to be more empathetic towards people around them.

If you’re looking for a fun, unconventional, socially-conscious and yummy team building activity, this is the experience that we’ve created just for you!

#4 – SALT

We call this the Open House level up! On top of a delicious feast and life stories from the Picha Chef, this special edition of PichaEats Open House brings you an immersive and innovative experience that gives you a taste of life as a refugee.

Photo Credit: Philip Seifi

In conjunction with the Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival, Future Food collaborates with PichaEats to bring you SALT – a sensory, salty experience offering a taste of refugee life after they are forced to leave their home country.

Stripped off their rights and with their personal belongings taken away, participants experienced first-hand the struggles faced by refugees daily during their escape, and their resilience that helps them carry on.

Photo Credit: Philip Seifi

This experience is more than enjoying a feast and hearing stories – but an immersive experience that put you into the shoes of others. Sometimes, it’s not enough to just listen to stories. It takes personal experience, emotions and empathy to understand the journey that others have gone through – and the best way to do that is by walking through the journey yourself, even just for a little while.

And those were the 4 highlights we had in the first half of 2019! It’s been 6 amazing months bringing a whole new Picha experience to all of you, and we are only at the beginning! 

As you’re reading this, the Picha team is constantly churning out more experiences for you to see the world and meet new people through food!

If you have not joined any of our past experiences, fret not! Our next delicious experience – Chǎ – A Fusion Dining Experience is coming up really soon, in partnership with Chocha Foodstore!

Enjoy a night like no other with us as we present an exclusive one-night only fusion menu, featuring an amalgamation of cuisines inspired by Syrian, Afghan and local Malaysian culture.

Find out more about this new Picha Experience at instagram.com/pichaexperiences/ , and stay tuned for more info!

*Cues Aladdin’s song again* Let us share this whole new world with you!

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