Rewilding the Kitchen is a programme exploring the practices and world-views of four artists—Salma Serry (Sufra Kitchen), Moza Al Matrooshi, Aya Shaban (Namliyeh) and Manal Abu Shmais (Namliyeh)— through the lens of food.
Consisting of three recipes and texts featured on alserkal.online, complemented, off-line, by dishes that pop up at workshops and tastings at various events in Alserkal Avenue, the programme lets ingredients tell their own authentic stories.
Each practitioner sensitively approaches what we call ‘rewilding’—ingredients and food become actors with agency, activating processes that unfold as the ingredients ‘intend.’
The outcome? We are beckoned to consider new readings for the kitchen, recipe writing, and the ways we eat.
Comissioned by Al Serkal Online and Kevin Jones, Rewilding the Kitchen will continue throughout the year in the form of digital conversations, updated recipes, happenings, and workshops with the artists.
Foraged from the wild regions of Jordan, Barri is a drink that encapsulates a long quest to hunt for wild chamomile,
sumac, wild rose, chrysanthemum, silvery whitlow wort, and wild honey. The journey to create Barri requires a
community spirit, generous winter rains, a deep understanding of wild edible flora and fauna, flavour pairings and the
desire to connect with nature. Participants were invited to consider how a single sip can contain tasting notes that can teleport
you to vast fields of flowers, bees, and a cold spring sun.
Recipes of Memory was workshop hosted by Salma Serry which explored how memory can be activated as source material in creating recipes. It
aimed to deepen our understanding of how food is shaped by/shapes our own past and identity as
individuals, regardless of imposed notions of the larger collective. The intended outcome was a
collaborative body of recipes that weaves in storytelling, context and history related to each
participant's personal narrative. This workshop was open to chefs, culinary writers, and researchers.
Carrying a sense of place of the Khaleej, and meanings of the migrant experience, Mastic Fizz
is a drink that combines Sharawi, a ubiquitous commercial chewing gum, that loses its taste
quickly and is spat out. Created by Salma Serry, Mastic Fizz carries a metaphor for the socio-
economic systems of the Arabian Gulf which have been relying on a temporary migrant body
rendered useless. Participants were invited to consider how a single sip can bring about a conflicting sense
of groundedness and futility, through the different ingredients paired along with the mastic
flavored gum: cardamom, amarena cherries and bitter orange slivers.
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