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Arts & Life

The art of gastrodiplomacy: Pop-up kitchens serve up empathy with a side of herb stew

What better way to bring people together than through food? That's the idea behind the gastrodiplomacy movement.

Mana Heshmati is bringing gastrodiplomacy to Southeast Michigan with her low-profit start-up Peace Meal Kitchen.

She hosts pop-up events at different venues around Metro Detroit, highlighting different countries. A recent event paired traditional Iranian food with the film Offside, by Iranian director Jafar Panahi.

“It begins to open the door, and it’s a really good introduction to the country and the culture,” Heshmati said.

The proceeds from each event are donated to a non-profit that benefits the people of the showcased country.

In the future, Heshmati hopes to reach more people.

“We’ve noticed most of our events bring out people who are very like-minded,” she said. “But we’d really like to figure out how to reach across the aisle, reach the people who wouldn’t go out of their way to come to our events.”

Listen to the full interview above.

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