Rich was reading one of his (many) cooking magazines the other night while I sat at the computer. "Here's an article you'll like," he said as he handed it to me. And did I ever!
The Conflict Kitchen in Pittsburgh is "a take-out restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with
which the United States is in conflict. The food is served out of a
take-out style storefront that rotates identities every six months to
highlight another country. Each iteration of the project is augmented by
events, performances, and discussions that seek to expand the
engagement the public has with the culture, politics, and issues at
stake within the focus country. These events have included live
international Skype dinner parties between citizens of Pittsburgh and
young professionals in Tehran, Iran; documentary filmmakers in Kabul,
Afghanistan; and community radio activists in Caracas, Venezuela." (from the Conflict Kitchen website)
I think this is the coolest idea I've heard in a long time. Americans are notoriously uneducated about the rest of the world, and unfortunately, even less informed about countries with whom our government has conflicts. I have been so weary lately of all the negative, nasty, and downright erroneous information that gets passed around, and so frustrated by the judgmental people who can't seem to look past their own biases and evaluate a situation rationally.
So I've been thinking--what if we did our own version of Conflict Kitchen right here? We can't open a restaurant but we could hold a monthly potluck dinner at someone's home or at a public place, choose which country we want to highlight, research the food, the culture, the issues, and make an event of it. Since we live in such an international community, odds are good we could even find some people from that country and invite them to come, to speak if they feel comfortable, to bring some items representative of their culture.
We're heading out on vacation on Tuesday but I am gonna let this idea percolate a little and maybe we can do something after we return. What do you think?
Meanwhile, click HERE if you want to read more about the Conflict Kitchen.