Nigerian traveling chef and writer Tunde Wey is hitting the road in America and he may be bringing his From Lagos dinner to a city near you.
“The emphasis is that I wasn’t black until I came here,” Wey, 32, tells us about the upcoming tour, a series of dinners in partnership with Okayafrica exploring the notion of Blackness in America. Diners will converse and explore this theme from the perspective of “guest collaborators.” They’ll also enjoy a five-course meal that features Wey’s take on Nigerian classics like dodo (fried plantains), pepper soup, eba, jollof rice and puff puff.
For Wey, the dinners are a chance to reflect on his “bifurcated reality.” “I’m ‘black’ because I live in America yet by virtue of my upbringing I’m steeped in a different and privileged emotional experience,” says Wey, who emigrated from Lagos to Detroit at age 16.
On the topic of Blackness in America, Wey says “It is incomplete to discuss America without referencing race and dishonest to mention race without beginning from blackness.”
A dinner offers the perfect setting to discuss important, and largely disregarded matters of race. “If we are to have these conversations,” Wey mentions, “and they are to be inclusive and sensitive then shouldn’t we sit about a table to eat, and raise our glasses in drink?”
Wey’s collaborative dinner series in partnership with Okayafrica begins Monday, March 7, at Shank Charcuterie in New Orleans with special guest Zac Manuel, filmmaker and co-founder/creative director of The Greenhouse Collective.
Look out for more dates and cities to be announced soon.