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 woven into your memory map. On Thursday, June 15 Matatu and Chef Paul Canales of Duende invite you aboard a journey navigating the food, fragrance, story and dance of North Africa’s 700 year rule in Spain, while considering their lasting impression upon contemporary western culture. It’s a dinner party, but a lot like a tent party (in the the Sahara), only we’re in Oakland – and it’s all of the above!
Duende • Thursday, June 15
Limited Private Event • Early Purchase is a Good Idea
The Tapas Crawl & Chef’s Feast
In 700 years of reign, peoples of North Africa left delicious and genius imprints of spices, textiles, architecture and technology niched in the contemporary romanticism of Northern Africa and Southern Spain. 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 Berber rule, 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 are featured and served 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, family-style chef's feast, while conversing 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 A Feminine 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 song, dance and culinary demonstration that promise to brighten all of your senses.
DJ EMANCIPACION is a U.S. born Egyptian cultural worker who draws inspiration for her musical meanderings from our people’s movements for freedom and liberation. Her sets take you on a journey through Africa (her homeland) via Oakland, tracing tribal roots, future dubs, and lots of soul. Currently Emancipacion designs the sounds at her monthly summertime outdoor jump, SOULOVELY, founded by the first all lady DJ crew based in Oakland, CA. (DJ Emancipacion is also currently one of the only female djs that caters to the Arab/North African community in the US. She specializes in Arabic weddings, bridal showers, hennas, and graduation parties.)
ESTEFANÍA NARVAEZ began performing flamenco at age 7. Since has since dedicated herself to the tradition of flamenco frequently training in Spain and returning to the states to perform in various companies cross country. She had been living in Seville for the past 3 years performing as a lead soloist at the tablao Sala Sentir, El Auditorio de Alvarez Quintero and various other venues and Festivals in Europe such as the Khamoro Festival in Prague. She recently moved back to the bay where she will continue to give workshops before returning to Spain.
LILLIE FALCO-ADKINS is a bi-cultural Panamanian American woman - a witch, spirit worker, priestess, ritual artist, aspiring herbalist, healer, and academic. She feels that women’s medicine will lead humanity into remembering the way of beauty and right-relationship for a sustainable and peaceful future. She works with the elemental realms and is an apprentice in faery seership with the House of Brigh and is merged with the kontomble in West African Dagara tradition. She will be offering short readings using the faeries' oracle and sea bones. These short readings offer a glimpse into the spirits and elements that are involved in your current situation allowing you to begin forming ongoing relationships with the Otherworlds, helping to bring more harmony and balance to your life.
SABREENA HAQUE (Ritual by Design) is one of the leading henna artists in the world, with over 51K Instagram followers. Classically trained, now based in the San Francisco Bay Area, her intricate designs can be personalized to suit an aesthetic range from traditional to contemporary. Sabreena brings her global acclaim to the evening, decorating guests with custom designs inspired by her travels around the world.
TANYA HENDERSON (Sacred Roots Botanicals) created an herbal line of products six years ago, so nourishing to the body that you could practically eat them. While her magical play continues to evolve, it is always organic, handcrafted and made with love straight from her kitchen. The ancient presence of plants predates the human species making them our original ancestors who hold the first instruction, from the great natural healer, within their strands of DNA. With their guidance, Tanya supports healthy physical, emotional & energetic levels by with the introduction of new plant allies – comforting in ways beyond measure.