Office of the Chancellor

Conversation Kitchen 2018-19

Conversation Kitchen

Presented in collaboration with the Department of Campus Recreation, Conversation Kitchen is a unique series of culinary workshops designed to explore the significant influence that food has in defining and shaping culture across the world. Each free workshop will focus on an area of the world undergoing conflict and transformation today. What is the role of food in mediating conflict, communicating values, solving problems, reflecting locale, and expressing our common humanity? Chef Jessica VanRoo, Campus Recreation culinary education director, will present a three-course menu with dishes from the region. Hosts representing the countries in question will be present during the workshop to discuss their food traditions and experiences. Participants will gain an understanding of different cultures by sharing a meal among friends.

joanie smithPhoto by Joanie Simon at Unsplash

2018-19 Schedule

Oct. 9, 2018: Simon Majumdar, celebrity chef and international food writer*

Fish and Chips: An International Story

Register here

Lunch and Conversation: 12-1:30 p.m.

Anteater Test Kitchen at the Anteater Recreation Center (ARC)

Register Here

Public Talk and Book Signing

3:30-5 p.m. Public Talk, Book Signing

Crystal Cove Auditorium

Register Here

Simon Majumdar is a broadcaster and author who has dedicated the second half of his time on this planet to fulfill his ambition to “Go Everywhere. Eat Everything.” It is a journey that has taken him to all fifty states and to dozens of countries around the world. He has written three books: EAT MY GLOBE (2009), EATING FOR BRITAIN (2011), and his latest book, FED, WHITE, AND BLUE, which catalogs his journey to American citizenship, was published by Avery Press (an imprint of Penguin Books) in 2015. Simon is also a well-recognized TV personality, regularly appearing on Food Network shows such as Cutthroat Kitchen, Beat Bobby Flay, Iron Chef America, The Next Iron Chef, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and Extreme Chef. He has also recently appeared as an expert commentator on National Geographic's major series “EAT: The Story of Food.”

*A Virtuous Table / Confronting Extremism Event and Part of Unity Through Diversity: Celebrating International Connections Week

Oct. 16, 2018: Greek Table: Philosophy and Table Fellowship**

Enjoy dinner and conversation with Duncan Pritchard, professor of Philosophy, and Zina Giannopoulou, professor of Classics, along with a New Testament scholar.

Anteater Test Kitchen at the ARC

Dinner and Conversation: 6-7:30 p.m.

Register here

Oct. 23, 2018: Persian Table: Zoroastrian, Jewish, Muslim, Bhai**

Enjoy dinner and conversation with Simcha Gross, assistant professor, History,Touraj Dayaee, professor, Iranian History, Sheiba Kian Kaufman, professor, English.

Anteater Test Kitchen at the ARC

Dinner and Conversation: 6-7:30 p.m.

Register here

Nov. 6, 2018: Buddhist Table**

Enjoy dinner and conversation with Elizabeth Tinsley, professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures; specialist in Buddhism, plus a guest moderated by Susan B. Klein, East Asian Languages and Literature.

Anteater Test Kitchen at the ARC

Dinner and Conversation: 6-7:30 p.m.

Register here

**Virtuous Table / Confronting Extremism Events

Dec. 6, 2018: Blurring Borders—Cultural & Culinary Fusion in Undocumented Communities

Join Oscar Teran and special guess to explore the undocumented immigrant experience that is shaped by borders. Political borders, language borders, cultural borders, and even culinary borders all shape the experience of undocumented individuals who must construct lives that transverse the borders that would seek to limit them. Come and learn about the experience of living across cultures and the delicious fusion food that is born from crossing borders. Enjoy a Vietnamese-Mexican fusion menu as exemplified by the Dos Chinos restaurant in Anaheim.

Anteater Test Kitchen at the ARC

Dinner and Conversation: 6-7:30 p.m.

Register Here

Feb. 7, 2019: Lunar New Year - Featuring Traditions of Vietnam

The Lunar New Year has different significance to different cultures around the world. We will delve into how the Vietnamese celebrate the Lunar New Year with food.

Anteater Test Kitchen at the ARC

Dinner and Conversation: 6-7:30 p.m.

Register Here

May 16, 2019: Food and Faith: A Taco Truck at Every Mosque

Ramadan and other religious celebrations honored through feast and fast. Explore the influences religion has had on traditions of feasting and fasting practiced throughout the world. We will explore Ramadan and its traditions. 

Sponsored by the Program in Religious Studies

Anteater Test Kitchen at the ARC

Dinner and Conversation: 7:45-9:00 p.m.

Register Here

June 6, 2019: Taco Literacy: A Conversation Kitchen with Gustavo Arellano

Come meet these two experts on the exciting world of tacos, which have crossed cultures and sparked new conversations among chefs, taco lovers, and the communities where they live and work. We will taste and compare tacos from two south american countries and learn more about foodways, food writing, and food studies.

Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA, and Steve Alvarez, designer of courses on taco literacy, will discuss the history of the taco over a festive menu featuring Mexican and Korean specialties.

Gustavo Arellano is author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. He is the former publisher and editor of Orange County's alternative weekly OC Weekly, and the author of the column ¡Ask a Mexican!, which is syndicated nationally. Arellano has won numerous awards for the column, including the 2006 and 2008 Best Non-Political Column in a large-circulation weekly from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, the 2007 Presidents Award from the Los Angeles Press Club and an Impacto Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and a 2008 Latino Spirit award from the California Latino Legislative Caucus.

Anteater Test Kitchen at the ARC

Dinner and Conversation: 6-7:30 p.m.

Register Here