TODAY |

Christchurch chef providing sanctuary for locals to eat and connect after terrorist attack

Today marks two months since the terrorist attacks on two mosques where 51 people died in Christchurch.

Simo Abbari who owns Simo's International Cuisine lost his business partner and two of his chefs were shot and injured on March 15.

"It has been hard, really hard and it is ongoing and it will take us a long time to recover," he says.

The Morrocan-born chef moved to Christchurch 25-years ago.

Despite everything Mr Abbari has carried on and keeps his door open, providing a place for people to come and talk.

"First we thought let's shut the doors, then I realised people want to come in, so I said to the team we are going to stay open because the kitchen is the heart of the society." 

He said it was important to him that people come and connect at a time like this.

Not only did he keep his doors open, he also worked around the clock to make food to be taken to the hospital.  He also has more plans to help.

"We are very excited, yesterday I had a meeting with Muslim community at the mosque, allowing us to provide some food to cater for Eid- equivalent to Christmas day - after Ramadan fasting."

The festival planned for next month will give locals a chance to try new foods and open up to new cultures.

Simo is one of the organisers in an impressive line-up including other food industry professionals from around the country.

"We just have to move on and carry on with our life and spread the love. The focus now, find a better way to live and love each other and live together as New Zealanders," he says.

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    Simo Abbari’s business partner was killed but he’s keeping his doors open. Source: 1 NEWS