Feminine Voice & Empire: A Nomadic Feast

  • Duende 468 19th Street Oakland, CA, 94612 United States

If you think back to any place you’ve been, chances are the smell of the air, the funk of the streets, the aroma of strange foods is tightly braided into your memory map. On Thursday, June 15 MATATU, The Umoja Festival, and Chef Paul Canales of Duende invite you to travel to the old world through food, fragrance, story and dance, while considering their lasting impression upon contemporary western culture.

In 700 years of reign, the peoples of North Africa left delicious, beautiful, and genius imprints of spices, textiles, architecture and technology niched in the romanticism of Northern Africa and Southern Spain today. How poor would Spanish tapas menus be today without the Moorish contribution of oil-frying and vinegar marination and preservation? Among the multitude of their gifts to Spanish cuisine, the greatest and most indispensable are rice and saffron; the very basis for the omnipresent paella! Along with olives and almonds, other important ingredient contributions include honey, citrus, dried fruits, and zesty herbs and spices (mint, cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, and anise), all featured prominently in Spanish cooking. European confitures existed prior to the Moors, but the introduction of sugarcane, almond flour (marzipan), and a predilection for the use of using fruits in savory dishes (especially dried apricots, figs, and citrus) have all left their mark on Spanish cooking and beyond

All of the above will be considered and featured in the food and beverages served at Feminine Voice & Empire in two distinct formats: Enjoy a roving tapas-crawl in the three rooms as you experience the varied and exciting performances; or experience a multi-course and family-style chef's menu, while in conversation with Chef Paul in Duende's alcove.

The diaspora is a weaving of stories from and to and across various continents, yet the storied influence of women as the crafters and imaginaries of culture and spirituality is too often left to the imagination. On June 15 the contributing artists of Feminine Voice & Empire are travelers, enchantresses and healers of sound, touch, and flavor who will guide us back beyond our imagination to connect to an ancient time that holds a piece of the global narrative. The breath, hands, and movements which inspired and shaped the North African conquest of Spain are woven together with poetry, song, and culinary demonstration that promise to brighten all of your senses.