Conflict Kitchen is an art project based in the centre of Pittsburgh which serves food from countries with which the US is ‘in conflict’.  The founders get to define what conflict means – it can range from outright war to economic sanctions – and since opening in 2010 they have prepared food from Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba.  But the restaurant’s latest choice of cuisine, Palestinian food, has caused controversy in the city and even led to a death threat which temporarily closed the venue.  Critics pointed out that the US is not in conflict with the Palestinian people. They claimed that the pamphlets served with the dishes included ‘anti-Israel’ propaganda. But Conflict Kitchen’s founders said the project was designed to encourage debate among Americans.”


Questions to Ponder: What do you think the purpose of Conflict Kitchen is for the restaurant owners?  Many people choose restaurants for a cultural experience; what type of cultural experiences are these patrons searching for by eating at Conflict Kitchen?  What political overtones are there to these cultural encounters?  Is this a form of ‘gastro-diplomacy?’ 

Tags: foodpolitical, culture.