Food For Thought

 Photo: Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

I love this story about Pittsburgh, PA, artists who opened Conflict Kitchen, an ethnic take-out joint  that “only serves cuisine from countries that the United States is in conflict with.” The goal is help diners engage their minds and their mouths while they eat.

And that’s the beauty of good food, yes? It gets people together and while one person is chewing, the other person across the table has a chance to talk.

From the article:

Jon Rubin came up with the idea with artists John Pena, 28, and Dawn Weleski, 29. Conflict Kitchen evolved from a friendly competition with a neighborhood hot dog stand; the artists wanted to offer more than just food. “The Conflict Kitchen is about possibilities,” Rubin said. “We see it as an experimental public artwork.”

Nearly everything about Conflict Kitchen leads to a discussion. 

What language is that on the restaurant’s sign? It’s Farsi.

Want to throw your sandwich wrapper away when you’re done? Don’t. The blue, yellow and green wrapper when opened up contains writings about topics including poetry, fashion and nuclear power in Iran. The stories are written in the first person, but the writers aren’t identified.

“If nothing else, it would make people aware,” Kim Kir said. “It’s not like [Iran is a] big bad country. People live there and have their local food that they eat. … Obviously, it’s a little more than that. It humanizes it.”

Tomorrow the restaurant is hosting “Live Skype Meal with Tehran,” a live online discussion and meal with a group of people in Iran. The plan is to feature cuisine from a different conflict country every four months. Coming up? North Korean, Afghanistan, and Venezuelan.

Today’s Gratitude List

October was a rough month, personally and professionally. I saw my recipes reprinted without my permission or attribution on other web sites... I wasn't eating...

Read More
Learning To Sail

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship."– Louisa May AlcottAlcott is best  known for her semi-autobiographical novel Little Women....

Read More


  • Addi says:

    I. Love. This.

    What a brilliant, non-threatening way to start a potentially tricky conversation.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    I really want to try to copy this idea! How completely fun and rewarding and interesting and just… GAH! I love it, too.