Imad Alarnad used to run three eateries in Damascus, before the conflict started.
However he had to flee, and leave his belongings, his house and his restaurants behind as he “rushed out of Syria”.
“I was scared that it was difficult to make it, but I had no other choice,” he said.
Imad’s Syrian Kitchen is his first restaurant in London, located in Carnaby Street’s Kingly Court, in Soho.
He started cooking at the age of eight, and says his mother taught him his cooking skills and taught him English.
“I used to be a mumma’s boy, she’s the one who taught me how to cook,” Imad said.
His specialist dish is freshly-made falafel.
The chef explained that he still missed Syria from before the war.
“During the war, it is not the same city anymore,” Imad said, sadly.
“I miss my own Damascus, the one before 2012.”