Deals, Dares & Reviews To Help You Savor Your World.
I held in my hand a gilt-edged plate, the china pattern that of Saddam Hussein‘s personal palace collection. It was piled with exotic Iraqi delicacies: a humble flatbread, a grape leaf-wrapped eggplant that I rather enjoyed, and a kubbah that I rather didn’t. The plate of food had been thrust at me from the window of a battle-green truck emblazoned with the Iraqi Coat of Arms. The people inside the truck wouldn’t take my money.
I had stumbled upon The Enemy Kitchen.
Michael Raskowitz’ provocative, ongoing art project has gone mobile in the form of a roving, raving, fully functioning food truck serving authentic Baghdad cuisine dished up by American veterans of the Iraqi war. What first began as a hands-on Iraqi cooking class for middle school children (with the blessing of his Iraqi-Jewish mother) has now evolved into an entirely moveable feast — a gentle, effective use of food and friendship to spark conversations about our perceptions of Iraq, her people, and the war they still endure.
The Enemy Kitchen food truck occupies the streets of Chicago through June as an itinerant exhibit of the Smart Museum‘s FEAST: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art, and it’s a fascinating taste of a culture we don’t know nearly enough about. To catch The Enemy Kitchen, follow it on Twitter @enemykitchen.
And be sure to check out http://smartmuseum.uchicago.edu/exhibitions/feast/ for the Smart Museum’s full line-up of food-as-art events, including an old-fashioned ice cream social and a bout of sanctioned imbibing called “The Act of Drinking Beer With Friends is the Highest Form of Art.”
I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like.