TEDx MidAtlantic

TEDx: What Syrian Cuisine Can Teach Us About Hospitality

In April 2019, I had the amazing opportunity to speak at TEDxMidAtlantic! In preparing for this talk, I explored the topic of communal food practices in Aleppo. For thousands of years, the act of preparing a meal in Syria (and across many cultures around the world) was often a social experience. Harvesting olives, rolling grape leaves, baking bread— these tasks were as much social as they were practical.

Despite this, the world continues to move towards faster and more outsourced food options. We’ve optimized for a highly transactional and efficient food system that we’ve forgotten the social role food plays in bringing people together.

I think our tetas (grandmothers) were onto something. I want to continue exploring this topic a bit further. I think it is one example of how we are living lonelier and more disconnected lives. Do you agree/disagree?

After the talk, we broke bread with the 800 attendees. My friends and I prepared the middle eastern version of pb&j, tahini and grape molasses (dibs w tahini//دبس و طحينة). My talented friend Saba from @plants_before_politics drew beautiful illustrations of the recipe for everyone to take with them.

Thank you to the @tedxmidatlanticteam for inviting me to speak!! I couldn’t have pulled this off without the incredible support of my friends. It takes a village. Special shout out to @easal@roadrunr7187@aj.747, and @mabellerose81 who heard numerous dry runs, prepared the snacks, and took care of all the logistical details the day of the event. Love you guys