Welcome to Knowledge and its Producers, a limited series from the Maydan produced by me, NA Mansour. In each episode, we’ll be talking to people who are at the forefront of knowledge production, typically away from the traditional educational power structures. We will be talking to people who curate, who edit, who run research centers, who write, and more. My field is Islamic studies and we’ll be talking to people who fit into the study of Islam and the Muslim-majority world. That doesn’t mean they’ll be Muslim themselves or Arab or Turkish; it just means we don’t have perfect terms for describing this big intersecting world. Yet. The goal is to get a wide variety of people talking about different ways of accessing history, ideas, and more. To uplift the people we’re interviewing. And to inspire you.
Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley are the authors of the cookbook Falastin. In this episode of Knowledge and its Producers, we think about how food is in itself a way to preserve heritage and document how it changes over time, a stark contrast to academia.
Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley are the authors of the cookbook Falastin. In this episode of Knowledge and its Producers, we think about how food is in itself a way to preserve heritage and document how it changes over time, a stark contrast to academia. Together, we think about how to write about labor, the place of cookbooks in modern society and what it is to document something like food.
SAMI TAMIMI was born and raised in Jerusalem and was immersed in food from childhood. He started his career as commis-chef in a Jerusalem hotel and worked his way up, through many restaurants and ethnic traditions, to become head chef of Lilith, one of the top restaurants in Tel Aviv in the 1990’s. The company now has four stores and two restaurants, NOPI and ROVI, all in central London. As the executive head chef, Sami is involved in developing and nurturing young kitchen talents and creating new dishes and innovative menus. Alongside Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi is co-author of two bestselling cookbooks: Ottolenghi: The Cookbook and Jerusalem: A Cookbook.
TARA WIGLEY spent a decade working in publishing–at the Abner Stein Literary Agency in London and then Simon & Schuster–before going to cookery school in Ireland. She has developed, tested, and writen recipes for Ottolenghi’s weekly column in the Guardian magazine and monthly New York Times’s columns, as well as for his cookbooks. She is the co-author of Ottolenghi Simple (2018), with Yotam Ottolenghi. For Falastin, Tara has travelled with Tamimi in Palestine and eaten her body weight in chickpeas and tahini.
You can follow me @NAMansour26 and you can follow the Maydan @themaydan on twitter. The production team includes Micah Hughes who you can follow @MicahAHughes and Ahmet Tekelioglu and most importantly, audio editor who does our post-production, Nicholas Gunty. A big thank you to the Luce Foundation. Our music is by Blue Dot Sessions. Be sure to subscribe or follow The Maydan on social media for upcoming episodes and more in the Maydan’s selection of podcasts.