Conflict Kitchen: Kubideh Kitchen, 2010
Iranian take-out restaurant, Dimensions Variable, Duration Variable
Conflict Kitchen is a take-out restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries that the United States is in conflict with. The food is served out of a take-out style storefront, which will rotate identities every four months to highlight another country. Each Conflict Kitchen iteration is augmented by events, performances, and discussions about the culture, politics, and daily life with each country we focus on.
The first iteration of Conflict Kitchen is called Kubideh Kitchen. Kubideh Kitchen is an Iranian take-out restaurant that serves kubideh in freshly baked barbari bread with onion, mint, and basil. Developed in collaboration with members of the Pittsburgh Iranian community, the sandwich is packaged in a custom-designed wrapper that includes interviews with Iranians both in Pittsburgh and Iran on subjects ranging from Iranian food and poetry to the current political turmoil.
Through food, wrappers, programming, and daily interactions with customers, Conflict Kitchen creates an ongoing platform for first-person discussion of international culture and politics. In addition, the project introduces a rotating venue for culinary and cultural diversity in Pittsburgh, as future iterations will focus on Afghanistan, North Korea, and Venezuela.
Conflict Kitchen is a project by John Peña, Jon Rubin, and Dawn Weleski and is funded by the Sprout Fund, The Waffle Shop, the Center for the Arts in Society, and the sale of food. Graphic design by Brett Yasko. Architectural design by Pablo Garcia of POiNT. Special thanks to Illah Nourbakhsh, Sohrab Kashani, Marti Louw, Harrison Apple, Sara Faradji, Courtney Wittekind, Jasmine Friedrich, Hilary Baribeau, Angel Gonzlaez, and all of those from the Iranian community who supplied us with their input and perceptions.