In Pittsburgh, PA we have “Conflict Kitchen” a project created to spark discussion about the cultures that the United States is currently in conflict with. Starting in October, they began featuring Palestinian cuisine and that’s when all hell broke loose.
The latest development occurred today because of an article in the Post-Gazette to report that organizations that had funded Conflict Kitchen had been contacted and asked to disavow their support of CK, including the Heinz Endowments, who donated the money to help CK move their restaurant to a different neighborhood.
In this case, Conflict Kitchen has done exactly what it was created to do – start a conversation and expose people to ideas that they might not otherwise encounter.
I haven’t had the opportunity to go into Oakland to eat there, so I can not report on a personal experience with this version of Conflict Kitchen. I visited the Cuban and Iranian versions and appreciated the way that they structured the information and provided a face to the culture that they were featuring.
Given the amount of discussion this has caused, CK is probably thrilled to pieces that they were able to impact the community, even if it means the possibility that their next version will be funded by Kickstarter. One that I will certainly be donating to.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Conflict Kitchen Wrappers Spark Conversation on Foundation’s Roles
CBS, Local Pittsburgh affiliate – People Conflicted with the Conflict Kitchen
Jezebel – Total Idiots Offended by Conflict Kitchen Featuring Palestinian Food. Note: Insulting to the City that I love, but right on with the core issues.