Will you be in London anytime between September 9 and October 3, 2015? If so, you’ll want to check out this cool event called Conflict Café. It is an innovative pop-up restaurant launched by peace-building charity International Alert and is returning to London for its second year to inspire more strangers to ‘break bread” and start conversations about peace through food.
“Food is the best way to educate people about other cultures,” said Rajiv KC, who runs a Nepali supper club Rajiv’s Kitchen. “We can learn a lot about a nation from its food, and once you understand them, you can build bridges.”
Food is often associated with conversation — think many a Thanksgiving diner — and so this event aims to showcase how food can unite, inform and provoke discussion.
The pop-up restaurant will be held at House of VANS in Waterloo, transforming this unique underground venue into a different region every week (see schedule below). In the wake of the ongoing Syria crisis, Conflict Café kicks off with a Middle Eastern theme, also featuring a special brunch by Honey & Co chefs Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich.
“Following the tremendous success of last year, we’re very excited that Conflict Café will be returning to celebrate the food and culture of even more countries affected by conflict,” said Ilaria Bianchi, Head of Communications at International Alert. “The restaurant provides an interesting and unique platform for breaking down barriers and getting people talking about peace and conflict issues around the world.”
In addition to Syria, conflict-torn regions included in this year’s Conflict Café are:
- Nepal, which recently experienced earthquakes and the end of the civil war.
- Columbia, a country that has been ravaged by civil conflict for the past 50 years.
- Armenia and Turkey, divided countries that have been at war for generations.
“For us, food is beyond conflict,” said Honey & Co chefs Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich. “Our cooking is a labor of nothing but love and an extension of our home. Food has that priceless power to bring people together around a table for a shared moment in a hectic world.”
Conflict Café will run in partnership with Grub Club and Cult Events, and will be hosted at House of VANS. It is part of Alert’s annual Talking Peace Festival, a month-long series of events designed to spark conversations about peace through creativity.
Event in a Nutshell
House of VANS,
Arches 228 – 232 Station Approach Road,
London SE1 8SW
- Wednesday, September 9 and Saturday September 12: Middle East
- Sunday, September 13: Middle East brunch special, feature Honey & Co chefs Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich
- Thursday – Saturday, September 17-19: Nepal, featuring chef Rajiv KC
- Wednesday – Friday, September 23-25: Colombia, featuring Esnayder Cuartas
- Wednesday, September 30, Thursday October 1 and Saturday October 3: Armenia and Turkey, featuring established Turkish chef Önder Ṣahan and Armenian cook Natalie Griffith
7pm onwards on dates listed above, except Sunday brunch, which takes place from 12 noon onwards
Tickets are available online at www.grubclub.com/conflict-cafe
Early bird ticket offer, priced at £30, ends tomorrow: Wednesday August 19, 2015
Social media tags:
- Twitter: @talkpeacefest
- Instagram: @international_alert
- Hashtags: #ConflictCafe and #TalkingPeace
NOTE: All images for this post, except “In a Nut Shell,” were provided by Midas PR