Broadsheet Article

“Chef Hamed Allahyari escaped Iran by boat in 2012. Now he’s helping other refugees and asylum seekers find work, and sharing the flavours he grew up with. Try the omelette with feta, fresh mint and dill; homemade sour-cherry tea; and a colourful, Persian take on the bliss ball.” Read more.

The Seasoned Traveller

VIDEO » This Chef opened a Persian Cafe to give Asylum Seekers the chance he never had.

“Chef Hamed Allahyari came to Australia seeking asylum. After being turned away from every kitchen, he started his own to give new migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum the foot in the door he couldn’t find.” Read more.


Podcast: Conversation with a Chef

“Hamed Allahyari is a Persian chef with a heart for others and a soul-warming laugh. I went out to Sunshine Café in Sunshine the other day and spoke to the café’s other founder, Jen Morillac. Jen and Hamed wanted to run a place that could employ refugees and asylum seekers who have had difficult time finding employment in Australia.” 

Listen to the podcast:

SBS: Persian-Australian Brunches at Cafe Sunshine & SalamaTea 

“Persian-Australian brunch and saffron tea is served at this refugee-run eatery… ‘It’s good now: we have nine people, they are asylum seekers and refugees,’ says Allahyari. ‘We hope this project gets bigger, so we can employ more people.’…” Read more.

Cooking with ABC Radio National for Persian New Year (Nowruz)

“… Niloofar Ebrahimi Tofighi explains the symbolism of the haft seen table and Hamed Allahyari from Hamed’s Persian Kitchen shows Buffy Gorrilla how to make sabzi polo, a herbed rice dish with tahdig – a crunchy bread…” Read more and Listen to the podcast.

Broadsheet Article: “More Than Just a Cooking Class”

“… Between mouthfuls of the delicate rosewater and pistachio halva the group has just made, Hamed asks us whether we are enjoying the food. We are. But perhaps more enjoyable is seeing someone who has fled turmoil making his way in Australia. His enthusiasm for Persian cooking is undoubted, as is his desire to share this with others – through these cooking classes for now, and perhaps in his own small cafe in the future…” Read more.


Interview for Highpoint Life in Colour

“… Hamed’s food often harks back to his family traditions.
‘Both my mother and father are good cooks. I use their dishes in my classes which gives me happiness. I love to tell people about my culture and traditions, it’s all new to them so I love to share with them my story’….” Read more.

Click here to view a youtube video of the interview.

The Design Files: Free to Feed’s Persian Nougat

“… We were lucky enough to have Hamed Allahyari of Free to Feed and Julia Busuttil Nishimura of OSTRO introduce us to some of Iran’s most popular sweet and savoury dishes. This Persian rosewater and pistachio sticky nougat, known as ‘Gaz’ to locals, is simply outstanding! …” Read more.

The Design Files: Free to Feed’s Felafel

“…Born in Tehran, and having owned a cafe in his hometown, Hamed dreams of opening another in Melbourne one day, and is passionate about Persian cuisine. Together with Julia, Hamed has been bringing some of his favourite recipes to life in his cooking classes over at Free to Feed, along with other great classes by a host of teachers from diverse backgrounds. Today the pair teach us how to make the tastiest homemade felafel ever…” Read more.

Victoria University Polytechnic

“Hamed Allahyari arrived in Australia as an asylum seeker and completed his course in English as an Additional Language at VU Polytechnic. Hamed now runs a social enterprise café, Cafe Sunshine & SalamaTea, offering employment to asylum seekers and refugees.” Read more.

Catering for Harmony Day at Mercy Health

“To celebrate the diversity in our workforce, Mercy Health created a digital recipe book consisting of recipes contributed by employees. Staff were also treated to a spectacular feast from Hamed’s Persian Kitchen, owned and run by Hamed Allahyari. Hamed inspired everyone with the story of his brave escape from Iran and subsequent immigration to Australia.” Read more. 

Harmony Day

Burwood Bulletin: Feast for Freedom

“Hamed Allahyari, one of Feast for Freedom 2020’s hero cooks, has gifted three Persian recipes close to his heart… Hamed fled Iran in 2012 for a chance at safety in Australia and now calls Melbourne home. A chef by trade, in July of last year he opened Cafe Sunshine & Salamatea, a café and restaurant serving delicious Persian meals and providing stable employment to refugees and people seeking asylum.” Read more.

The True West: For Woodlea Real Estate

“Hamed’s story is an incredible personal journey. A heartfelt story of fleeing Iran as a refugee, and ending up with a restaurant in Sunshine. There is no shortage of twists and turns along the way, and ultimately where he is now is inspiring.” Read more.