"We started naming cuisines that we could serve in Pittsburgh," Weleski said. "Since the Pittsburgh culinary landscape isn't so diverse, we thought we could serve Cuban, Venezuelan, Iranian and Afghan cuisine, and we realized we were naming all these cuisines from countries with which the US government is in conflict. That's how Conflict Kitchen got started."Maybe they should serve cheeseburgers and Coca Cola. They might learn something about America and capitalism (where no one starves, because there are no Food Ministries).
Upcoming culinary themes look at border conflicts between people: North and South Koreans, and Palestinians and Israelis. Conflict Kitchen has already started talking with South Korean chefs and North Korean refugees, trying to find out what they think about the US, what they like to cook and what food means to them.
[Owner Dawn] Weleski [a former art student who runs the place with her professor, Jon Rubin] recently returned from an exploratory trip to South Korea, where the team learned to make - and eat - dumplings. "We were able not only to share a plate of food with locals, but at the same time share something that could be very sensitive - for example, information about a North Korean defecting into China and then South Korea," she said.Defecting because there's nothing to eat in North Korea, but tree bark and insects--if one is lucky enough. Now there's food for thought.