Tunde Wey: About Race | The Durham Hotel | Food Events | Indy Week

Food Events

Tunde Wey: About Race

When: Fri., Dec. 16, 6-9 p.m. 2016

In an essay on the Oxford American website in June, Nigerian-born chef Tunde Wey wrote, "My cooking has always been political. It began as an oppositional response to foodie culture, nauseatingly self-referential and boastful." Wey's cooking, via Nigerian pop-up dinners around the country, seized the attention of a mostly white food elite that savored a chance to be saved. But, as Wey remarks, white privilege's best intentions "have been scrubbed with a dirty washcloth." At his Blackness in America dinners, Wey captures audiences in their own discomfort, probing them with insistent questions—some pointed, others rhetorical, but all gently demanding an answer. Seated at long tables dappled with brimming bowls and platters of jollof rice, goat stew, and grilled whole fish, guests embrace a shared black space, as Wey calls it. The dinners spark the kind of hard, necessary conversations that awaken only when we're passing around plates of food. On the Durham Hotel's mezzanine on Friday, Wey gives a free talk, titled About Race, that extends the theme of his dinner series. It's a discussion, not a lecture, where everyone may speak freely. It might be uneasy, but it could be what we need to start rinsing out the dirty washcloth. Visit The Durham's website to sign up for the free event; the discussion at seven p.m. follows cocktails and snacks at six.—Victoria Bouloubasis

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