Kalamazoo Foodways Symposium

Kalamazoo Foodways Symposium
Kalamazoo Foodways Symposium

Kalamazoo Foodways Symposium

The Foods We Carried: Middle Eastern Foodways in Michigan

Third Annual Foodways Symposium
April 5 – 6

Kalamazoo Foodways Symposium Mission Statement:
The Kalamazoo Foodways Symposium inspires and empowers Greater Kalamazoo communities to honor our agricultural history and heritage cuisines, celebrate good food, and work together to build a just and healthy future for all.

 

Friday Schedule
(All at Kalamazoo Valley Museum)

Keynote Presentation:
Foodways in Exile: The Intersection of Cuisine, Immigration, Identity, and Culture

Presenter: Liana Aghajanian
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. and 7 – 8 p.m. (same presentation will be offered twice)
Location: Kalamazoo Valley Museum Mary Jane Stryker Theater
A journalist specializing in storytelling and international reporting, Aghajanian has focused much of her work on marginalized communities, immigration, displacement, and identity. Recently, she has been documenting the Armenian experience in America through food. Her project, “Dining in Diaspora,” traces the intersection of cuisine and agriculture with genocide, immigration, identity, and more. In addition, Chef Nidal Awad from Shawarma King on Drake Road will be providing delicious samples of some of their bestsellers.

 

Saturday Schedule
(All events at Culinary and Allied Health Building)

 

Cooking Classes and Demonstrations:

Savory Baklava Creation
Chef: Channon Mondoux
Hands-On
Culinary and Allied Health Building Bakery 235
9 – 11 a.m.
Capacity: 18
Did you know that Baklava can also be a savory dish? When phyllo dough is paired with spinach, feta cheese and various herbs and spices, a delicious savory pastry is created, that is typical for a lot of countries in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Join chef Channon in this *FREE* session as part of Foodways Symposium, and learn how to make phyllo dough from scratch, as well as how to get creative with savory variations on baklava.

History of Flat Breads
Chef: Cory Barrett
Hands-On
Culinary and Allied Health Building Bakery 235
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Capacity: 18
Flatbreads are simple in approach and execution but big in flavor and history. Because of their simple preparation and ability to often be made without an oven, flatbreads have found their way into many cuisines around the world. In this class, participants and Chef Cory will prepare various types of flatbread and discuss their origins.

16th Century Baklava Recreation
Chef: Channon Mondoux
Hands-On
Culinary and Allied Health Building Bakery 235
1 – 3 p.m.
Capacity: 18
Baklava is a rich, sweet dessert pastry made with layers of filo and filled with chopped nuts, sweetened and held together with syrup or honey. It is characteristic in many cuisines of Central and West Asia, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. Join Chef Channon Mondux and learn how to recreate this historic dish with techniques and practices dating back from sources in the 16th century.

Vegan Cheese
Chef: Lauren Johnson
Hands-On
9 – 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (this same class is offered twice)
Culinary and Allied Health Building Kitchen 232
Capacity: 18
Making vegan cheese substitutes does not have to be complicated. Come join this vegan cheesemaking demonstration and leave with simple recipes that are tasty and easy to make. This one-hour demonstration will include preparation of vegan queso dip, tofu “feta,” and tofu “ricotta” cheeses.

The Flavors of Armenia: Eetch and Manti
Chef: Margueritte Mooradian
Hands-On
1 – 3 p.m.
Culinary and Allied Health Building Kitchen 232
Capacity: 18
Chef Marguerite Mooradian will be working with participants to create two classic Armenian comfort food dishes. Hailing from the Near East, these warming and flavorful dishes are versatile and can be served on their own or part of a larger meal. Stop in and learn how to make vegan Eetch and little baked lamb dumplings called Manti.

Farmers Market “Chopped”
Chefs: Mariel Borgman and Gaby Gerken
Hands-On
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Start at Kalamazoo Winter Farmers Market, and continue in Culinary and Allied Health Building Community Kitchen 113
Capacity: 18
This session will be begin at the Bank Street Winter Farmers Market and later meets at the Culinary and Allied Health community kitchen, where participants will be a part of a "Chopped"-type competition. Each team will be given a box of ingredients and will be allowed to pick one unique ingredient from the Farmers Market. Teams will have a set amount of time to create a dish, and "celebrity judges" will pick the winning team.

Join this combined shopping and culinary session and have fun cooking while also learning about Michigan’s agricultural seasons and shopping at the Farmers Market.

Dolma: Stuffed Grape Leaves
Chef: Hether Frayer
Hands-On
12 – 1:30 p.m. and 2 – 3:30 p.m. (this same class is offered twice)
Culinary and Allied Health Building Community Kitchen 113
Capacity: 18
Hether Frayer, Fresh Food Fairy, will work with participants to make her very favorite Chaldean dish—Dolma (grape leaves, onions, squash, and peppers stuffed with a rice, beef, and vegetable mixture). Learn how to spot wild grape leaves (they grow everywhere, city and country alike), as well as how to store them.

Turshi: Chaldean Pickled Vegetables
Chef: Hether Frayer
Demonstration
9 – 10 a.m.
Culinary and Allied Health Building Culinary Theater 107
Capacity: 49
Turshi (pickled vegetables) and Mekhalalat (pickled turnips) are Chaldean staples, especially good when served with charbroiled meat or chicken, but make a great side side dish in general. Learn how easy it is to make Chaldean-Style pickled vegetables with seasonally available ingredients from the one and only Hether Frayer, Fresh Food Fairy.

Shawarma King on Drake’s Hummus and Baba Ganoush
Chef: Nidal Awid, Owner of Shawarma King on Drake
Demonstration
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Culinary and Allied Health Building Culinary Theater 107
Capacity: 49
Join Chef Nidal Awid, the owner of Shawarma King on Drake Road, to learn how he makes their signature Hummus and Baba Ganoush—two staple plant-based dishes. In this one-hour session, he will talk about the food and culture of his homeland, Palestine, and how he is sharing that rich heritage with the community through his restaurant.

Culinary Exploration of Syria: Seniat Lahmeh
Chef: Ali Dibeh
Demonstration
2 – 3 p.m.
Culinary and Allied Health Building Culinary Theater 107
Capacity: 49
Join Ali Dibeh, a native of Syria, in preparing his favorite dish, Senayt Lahmeh, a ground lamb dish infused with herbs and vegetables. In this one-hour session, participants will be able to learn from Ali about this staple ground lamb dish that he describes as the “best food.” Ali will showcase how this specialty is prepared, and the audience will be able to taste the creation.

 

Saturday Presentations:

We Speak for Lebanon: A Collection of Essays on the Underdevelopment of Lebanese Agriculture
Presenter: Malak Ghazal
10 – 11 a.m.
Culinary and Allied Health Building Room 223
This presentation—half storytelling, half analysis—is a telling of Lebanese foodways that reveals the blows suffered to agriculture in the millennia-long process of globalization. To achieve this, Malak’s summer of 2018 was spent abroad in her family’s village of Ras El Metn, Lebanon, where she conducted research through interviews and applied the experiences to historical context and political theory. The goals of this project are deeply personal as well: to learn her ancestral history, to understand her culture’s foodways, and to have a stronger sense of identity and place as a product of the Lebanese Diaspora.

Dining in Diaspora: Tracing the Legacy of Armenian Food in America
Presenter: Liana Aghajanian
12 – 12:50 p.m.
Culinary and Allied Health Building Room 223
Escaping war, atrocity, and genocide while looking for better economic opportunities, Armenians have been migrating to America for centuries. Settling across the country from Los Angeles to Detroit to Boston and everywhere in between, the Armenian footprint in America is vast, complex, and hidden. For people who have been on the move for over a century, who have lost their families, cities, and language, food is the closest thing that encapsulates the feeling of being rooted. Food tells us stories about politics, history, immigration, identity, and finding yourself. No group knows this better than Armenians. As the world is in the midst of a refugee crisis that parallels the fate of Armenians over a century ago, these stories are more important than ever.

Black Farm Ownership: Discussion
Facilitator: Becca Sonday
1 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.
Culinary and Allied Health Building Room 223
Using census data, oral histories, and newspaper clippings from the 1800s onward, Becca will facilitate a discussion of the history of Black farmers in Cass County, while touching on the relative lack of Black farmers and Black farmland ownership in Kalamazoo and St. Joseph Counties. She has been working with this information as part of a larger project and will incorporate information from Van Buren County as well, given the relevance to Kalamazoo. This presentation will also touch on how white nationalism (via sundown towns, intimidation movements, and other methods) impacted Black farm ownership in the area.

Coming Together for Food System and Community Resilience
Facilitators: Mariel Borgman and Lee Arbogast
2 – 2:50 p.m.
Culinary and Allied Health Building Room 223
This session will be a community discussion around "transition initiatives" or home-grown, citizen-led education, action, and multi-stakeholder planning to increase local self-reliance and resilience in the face of global challenges such as climate change.

Just the Basic Facts: Arab Americans, Islam, and Food 
Facilitators: David Serio and Petra Alsoofy of the Arab American National Museum
11:00 - 11:50
Location: CAH Room 207
The session offers general information on Arab American culture including, of course, food. Distinctions between the terms Arab World and the Middle East will be discussed along with an overview of Arab immigration patterns to the United States. Additionally, the basic principles of Islam will be covered so that audiences can better understand Halal food preparation and the practice of fasting during Ramadan. Serio and Alsoofy are educators from the Arab American National Museum.

Award-Winning Documentary Film, Wild Relatives 
Time: 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. 
Location: CAH Room 207 
Wild Relatives explores how taxonomies of seeds and plants carry histories of violence and colonialism, as reflected by Syria’s work with the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. Deep in the Earth beneath Arctic permafrost, seeds from all over the world are stored in the Global Seed Vault to provide a backup, should disaster strike. Seeds held there from a major gene bank in Aleppo are now being replicated after its holdings were left behind when the institution had to move to Lebanon due to the civil war. Refugees from Syria are now carrying out this painstaking work in the fields of the Beqaa Valley.


WILD RELATIVES - Trailer from KLE on Vimeo.

Youth Workshops 
Facilitators: Kalamazoo Nature Center Educators 
Time: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: CAH Room 247
Youth activities related to nature and soil health will be facilitated by Kalamazoo Nature Center’s educators on walk-in basis