‘Faith and Fusion’ Promotes Cooking for Co-Existence
Chefs For Peace launches a unique culinary event to promote peace in the Middle East.
Non-profit organization, Chefs For Peace, and Hillel of Greater Toronto launched the inaugural ‘Faith and Fusion Culinary Event’ on March 12, 2012 at Miseastro Bistro in Toronto. James Beard once said, “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” This unique event takes this belief to heart, bringing together Muslim and Jewish chefs from Israel to share traditional gourmet kosher and halal dishes.
Chefs For Peace founder, Kevork Alemian, and acclaimed food critic and author, Bonnie Stern, hosted ‘Faith and Fusion’. Five dishes were prepared and served by celebrity chefs Ibrahim Abuseir (The David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem), Yossi Elad (Mackneyada in Jerusalem), Abderrahman Khallouk (Kara Mia in Toronto), Benny Cohen (Mideastro Bistro in Toronto), and Eran Marron (Marron Bistro in Toronto).
‘Faith and Fusion’s’ goal was to bring together food lovers from the Muslim and Jewish communities to share conversation and culturally-significant food, including lamb falafel balls, raviolo di tuna, Jerusalem artichoke soup (which I learned are not in fact artichokes at all), Moroccan tagine, chicken 3 peppers, and pavlova fruits with chocolate.
The wonderful evening ended with a Q&A with the hosts and chefs, encouraging further learning and discussion among the guests.
“One of the most effective ways to accomplish change, and eliminate stereotypes and ignorance on a global scale, is for each of us to come together as a community, united at the grassroots level with the express goal of positive communication and education amongst divergent cultures. What better way to start a peaceful and progressive dialogue, then to break bread and share a meal with our neighbours” says Shirin Ezekiel, Associate Executive Director of Hillel Toronto.
Founded in 2001, Chefs for Peace creates events for coexistence, always integrating the culinary arts. The organization believes that people separated by partisan circumstances can come together through a common interest in food and culinary experiences.
“With all the negative press coverage shown daily about the Middle East around the world, this small but significant action renews my faith that there are many, many people of different religions and cultures who are willing to present positive, promising dialogue and prove the general populations stereotypes to be gravely unfounded,” says Kirsti Stephenson, Director of PR and Special Events at Size Doesn’t Matter.
Chefs for Peace and Hillel of Greater Toronto are planning to make ‘Faith and Fusion’ an annual event.