Conflict Café, an innovative pop-up restaurant launched by peacebuilding charity International Alert, is returning to London for its second year from 9 September – 3 October 2015 to inspire more strangers to ‘break bread’ and start conversations about peace through food.
The restaurant, which was named ‘Most inspiring pop-up of 2014’ by Time Out, will continue to showcase how food can unite, inform and provoke discussion, and will once again mark UN International Peace Day on Monday (21 September).
It will take place at House of VANS in Waterloo, a unique underground venue which will be transformed into a different region every week, encouraging diners to discover more about the conflicts and prospects for peace of each country in focus. In the wake of the ongoing Syria crisis, Conflict Café kicks off with a Middle Eastern theme, also featuring a special brunch by Honey & Co chefs Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich.
The focus will then shift to Nepal with chef Rajiv KC taking over the Café. Diners will have the chance to find out more about the challenges facing the country following the recent earthquakes and end of the civil war.
Esnayder Cuartas will introduce visitors to Colombian cuisine in the third week – a country that has been ravaged by civil conflict for the past 50 years.
Established Turkish chef Önder Ṣahan will then join forces with Armenian cook Natalie Griffith in the final week to devise a unique menu which celebrates the similar culinary traditions of these divided countries.
Ilaria Bianchi, Head of Communications at International Alert, said: “Following the tremendous success of last year, we’re very excited that Conflict Café will be returning to celebrate the food and culture of even more countries affected by conflict. The restaurant provides an interesting and unique platform for breaking down barriers and getting people talking about peace and conflict issues around the world.”
Honey & Co chefs Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich said: “For us, food is beyond conflict. Our cooking is a labour of nothing but love and an extension of our home. Food has that priceless power to bring people together around a table for a shared moment in a hectic world.”
Rajiv KC, who runs a Nepali supper club Rajiv’s Kitchen,said: “It’s a known fact that food brings people together, and when people come together with ideas and solutions, extraordinary things can happen. Food is also the best way to educate people about other cultures. We can learn a lot about a nation from its food, and once you understand them, you can build bridges.”
Conflict Café will run in partnership with Grub Club and Cult Events, and will be hosted at House of VANS. It is part of Alert’s annual Talking Peace Festival, a month-long series of events designed to spark conversations about peace through creativity.
Location: House of VANS, Arches 228 – 232 Station Approach Road, London SE1 8SW
- Conflict Café: Middle East – Wednesday 9 & Saturday 12 September (7pm onwards)
- Conflict Café: Middle East brunch special – Sunday 13 September (12 noon onwards)
- Conflict Café: Nepal – Thursday 17 – Saturday 19 September (7pm onwards)
- Conflict Café: Colombia – Wednesday 23 – Friday 25 September (7pm onwards)
- Conflict Café: Armenia and Turkey – Wednesday 30 September, Thursday 1 October & Saturday 3 October (7pm onwards)
Tickets: Tickets are available online at www.grubclub.com/conflict-cafe Early bird ticket offer, priced at £30, on sale until Wednesday 19 August 2015
Talking Peace Festival website