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An Afghan Chef in Richmond

Hamid shows off a dish he created. Photo: IRC in Richmond

Before coming to the United States, IRC client Hamidullah Noori worked as a chef in his home country of Afghanistan. For twelve years, Hamid worked in a five-star restaurant in Kabul, before transferring to work with USAID as a chef for American staff serving in Afghanistan. Hamid’s life was put in danger just for doing what he loved – cooking great food—and so in 2015, Hamid and his family arrived and were resettled in Richmond. Initially, he worked at a warehouse to make ends meet, but when the IRC opened its Richmond office in 2015, Hamid came in for help. Through the Career Advancement Program, Hamid began working with IRC’s employment specialist to find a career pathway and an opportunity to apply his unique culinary skillset in the United States. 

In late September, Hamid did a cooking exhibition at the Capitol Farmers’ Market, and then another at the Hi Hostel in Richmond. After getting rave reviews for his Afghan dumplings, he was hired in October by Elwood Thompson's, a well-known, locally owned natural food market in Richmond. Hamid is eager to show off his skills and to add an extra flavor to Richmond’s renowned food scene.