A Blade of Grass
Parallel Fields: Kitchens in Conversation
Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
6 to 8pm
This conversation featured Dawn Weleski from Conflict Kitchen and Chef Pierre Thiam in a flavorful discussion moderated by ABOG’s Director of Programs Elizabeth M. Grady that explored food’s unique ability to facilitate political and social dialogue. How does food and dining unite us and communicate cultural difference at the same time? Why are the rituals around food really rituals of sharing? Is the dinner table a viable tool to enact real social change?
Dawn Weleski is an interdisciplinary artist and co-director of Conflict Kitchen, a Pittsburgh-based restaurant that serves a changing menu of cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict, supplemented with political discussions, performances, and international online meals. Since 2010 Conflict Kitchen has featured the cuisine and politics of Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea. Their current focus is on the cuisine and politics of Afghanistan.
Pierre Thiam is a chef, restaurateur and author of the cookbook Yolele! Recipes from the Heart of Senegal. His catering company, Pierre Thiam Catering, specializes in presenting West African cuisine to New York audiences. Born and raised in Dakar, Senegal, Thiam also promotes cultural exchange and has been featured on radio and television programs such as NPR’s Splendid Table and CNN’s Inside Africa.
Parallel Fields is a discussion series that pairs an artist and a non-artist, both of whose work is socially engaged, to discuss with an audience how different professions are connected.