Jon Rubin, Co-Director
Dawn Weleski, Co-Director
Robert Sayre, Culinary Director
Emily Green, Assistant to Co-Directors
Brett Yasko, Graphic Designer
Blaine Siegel, Ed & Outreach Director
Aidan Smith, Manager/Catering Director
Josh Klimaszewski, Kitchen Manager
Clara Gamalski, Ed & Outreach Assistant
Matt Getzow, Madalyn Hichendoner,
Sheryl Johnson, Trevon Jenkins,
Edmund Pfleegor, Erica Shed,
James Volk, Katherine Anderson
Conflict Kitchen is a restaurant that serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. Each Conflict Kitchen iteration is augmented by events, performances, publications, and discussions that seek to expand the engagement the public has with the culture, politics, and issues at stake within the focus region. The restaurant rotates identities in relation to current geopolitical events.
Our current Iranian version introduces our customers to the food, culture, and politics of Iran. Developed in collaboration with Iranians in Iran and the diaspora, our food comes packaged in wrappers that include interviews with Iranians on subjects ranging from culture to politics. As is to be expected, the thoughts and opinions that come through the interviews and our programming are informed by personal perspective and history. These diverse perspectives reflect a nuanced range of thought within each country and serves to instigate questioning, conversation, and debate with our customers.
Operating seven days a week in the middle of the city, Conflict Kitchen uses the social relations of food and economic exchange to engage the general public in discussions about countries, cultures, and people that they might know little about outside of the polarizing rhetoric of governmental politics and the narrow lens of media headlines. In addition, the restaurant creates a constantly changing site for ethnic diversity in the post-industrial city of Pittsburgh, as it has presented the only Iranian, Afghan, Venezuelan, North Korean and Palestinian restaurants the city has ever seen.