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FEASTmas dinner: foods of the Middle East and ancient Rome!

December 13, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


(photo: Mezze from @apricotstonephilly)

Join me for a dinner that tells the story of how food connects the present with the past, and connects people with each other! I have spent many years excavating in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Armenia, Oman, and Italy – and living and eating among the people of those countries. I feel a strong connection to the cultures and people whose meals I’ve shared, as well as a connection to the ancient cultures whose food remains I’ve excavated! Let me share that with you.

This dinner, benefitting FringeArts, features a four course meal prepared by chefs Fimy Ishkanian, Lucio Palazzo, and Chris Vacca; each course is paired with wine, by me.

Fimy Ishkanian was born to an Armenian family in Aleppo, Syria. After emigrating, moving between Canada and the States, and raising a family, she opened ‘Fimy’s Kitchen’ in the Albrecth’s Farmer’s Market on the Main Line. Now, Chef Fimy and her son Ara own and operate Apricot Stone, providing traditional Armenian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern flavors. Chef Fimy’s food transports me to the Aleppo I know and miss.

Lucio Palazzo was born and raised in Italy and is now culinary director for Sojourn Philly, whose restaurants include Jet Wine Bar, Rex 1516, Café Ynez, and soon-to-open Sor Ynez. He forged an ongoing fascination with Mexican cuisine and culture while Head Chef at Xochitl and while working in the kitchens of La Calaca Feliz and Loco Pez. Lucio’s palate and talents find him working with flavors from across the globe; as part of the opening team at the acclaimed Zahav, he captured the flavors of the Middle East that I so love.

Chris Vacca co-owns and co-operates Poi Dog – a Hawaiian restaurant – with his business partner, Kiki Aranita. Prior to starting a food business, Chris focused on classical studies – earning an MA in Classics at Tulane, researching at Freie Universitsät in Berlin, entering Bryn Mawr College’s PhD program. He also enrolled in the American School of Classical Studies at Athens Summer Session, which took him to archaeological sites and museums across Greece. Chris connects his love of Classics and food by adapting ancient recipes to modern techniques – as he’ll do here!


December 13, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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140 N Columbus Blvd
Philadephia, PA United States
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