Conflict Kitchen in Oakland

“There are things you don’t talk about at the dinner table, and politics is one of them,” reports ABC News. “But political conversation is encouraged at one restaurant in Pennsylvania. Indeed, it inspires the cuisine.

Welcome to Conflict Kitchen, a takeout spot in Pittsburgh that only serves food from countries in conflict with the United States.

Created by Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski, Conflict Kitchen features a rotating menu of food native to countries like Cuba, North Korea (Manduguk, or vegetable dumpling soup) and Iran (Khoresht-e Kadoo, or Persian lamb stew with zucchini and tomatoes on steamed rice). The idea began as an interactive art project that has since become a full-fledged business.”

Conflict Kitchen has had more than its share of national press but this report includes a recent challenge the Schenley Plaza kiosk is facing.

“The restaurant encourages customers’ questions and conversations, but its popularity has made it somewhat challenging for lengthy discussions. “Since we’ve become so popular, people aren’t able to take the time to stand at the takeout window and talk with our staff, who have been trained to have these discussions, to basically be good listeners and conversationalists about the politics and culture,” Weleski (one of the creators) said.

To that end, the restaurant hosts regular roundtable discussions and events. In one example, customers were able to have lunch in real-time with a local in Iran, while an employee wearing a headset served as a live avatar, sitting at the table and relaying the Iranian’s responses to customer’s questions.

Read the full article here.

Ryan Hoffman

A recent grad of Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, Ryan also has a degree in journalism. He has a passion for innovative ideas in Pittsburgh, green urban spaces, music and the...