Knights of the Raj NYC is an immersive peek into the history of NYC curry cuisine. To understand why this is a fascinating visit to Brooklyn’s MOFAD that will feed your mind as well as your stomach, we need to back up to the origins of the Knights of the Raj and the curry uprise in Britain. The “Knights” started as an homage to those who are responsible for bringing curry to Britain in the first place, the Bangledeshis. aka, the East Pakistanis or British Indian Muslims, depending on what year you are focused on when discussing the topic. A short history of India seems necessary. The British Raj, as Britain was known, occupied India between 1858 and 1947 until “partition” emancipated India and Pakistan from British rule. The handy work of Brit Cyril Radcliffe drew new borders with the goal of dividing Pakistan and India so that the Muslim and Hindu populations were not disturbed. FAIL on Cyril’s part. Known as the Radcliffe line, this ridiculous re-bordering made a split country of Pakistan creating two wings, east and west, with India in the middle. This also caused 14 million Muslims and Hindus to flee across new borders when they discovered they were in the wrong country. This duo of Pakistans only lasted until 1971 when a revolution in East Pakistan due to civil disobedience led to the war of independence resulting in the new state of Bangladesh. Whew, ok…That brings us back to Banglideshis migrating from their newly formed country that was experiencing famine, poverty and military coups to Britain. Along with this they obviously brought their food and curry started to make its way into the British culture as an exotic dish. Fast forward to modern day and Britains national dish declared curry and rice, you can image the impact the Knights of the Raj have had in a short 50 years. With 30,000 Indian restaurants in the UK, The Knights stories start with the first Bangladeshis settling in Birmingham and spreading across Britain. Curated by artist Mohammad Ali The Knights of the Raj NYC is a continuation of the British story and Bangladeshis landing in New York. Included in the visit are Immersive Arts Experiences, Walk-In Diorama, Live Performances, and a Three-Course Sampler Menu of Bangladeshi Street Foods and British-Style Curries. July 20th – August 5th from 6:30 to 9:30 pm in Brooklyn, NY
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We’re big fans of most everything Bourdain. His education on culture using food defines an era in a lot of ways. His perfectly worded soapboxing is a critical component to his style and this food storytelling directive. Plus the dude drops F-bombs when not in front of a CNN camera. You did read Kitchen Confidential right? In this light, he’s just launched a new national monologue tour named The Hunger. You can get a front rom seat to his musings. All the dates are here. If you’re an east coaster we recommend the Philly date as the NYC seat will be very hard to get, over crowded and most likely filled with the food illuminati of the five boroughs. Drop some cash on the brotherly love show, get some Federal Donuts and hope for a Quest Love cameo. October and November on various dates in national locations.
We had a few days in Berlin. I hit a few of my old 2006 haunts but also discovered a new and vibrant food scene. Yes in the restaurants but more so in the community. Case in point is Sarah Go’s Feast Meetups. She aims to bring together “foodpreneurs”. She welcomes food designers, trend researchers, editors and gastronomy makers to connect and collaborate on all aspects of the culinary industry booming across the globe. Berlin’s no stranger to creativity, innovation and change. With those two backgrounds, I’m sure her next meetup and Feast’s mission will foster this culinary community well. We, unfortunately, didn’t get to hook up with Sarah while in town but if you live in Berlin or are planning a visit, check out the calendar and pop into an event. The last one was a viewing on ‘The Chef’s Mind’ with snacks. No “brainer” right?
One of our favorite topics has always been failure. We think it’s an underserved topic. When it is discussed it’s usually shrouded in successful stories that the “failure” was the catalyst for. We’re not saying we shouldn’t learn from our mistakes, we just wish failure talks were about the horrific and gut wrenching misshapes of our passionate endeavors. The learning from that is invaluable. This Thursday the Food+Tech Friday Fails event continues bringing these terrible stories to light. This week, Gotham Greens, Sweet Revenge and the former founder of Modern Farmer. All followed by audience Q&A so you can dig even deeper into the disaster. Thursday, June 2 @ 7:00 PM in NYC.