This meal is created as a celebration, a dance, and an offering. This meal is created for you.
One of the many valuable things I’ve learned from voices like Tricia Hersey (The Nap Ministry) is that activism doesn’t always look like a hard push against. Resistance to systems like capitalism and the illusion of white supremacy can also look like nourishment through good rest, liberation through joy, healing through abundant experiences of beauty and pleasure. For non- BIPOC and LGBTQ+ and other marginalized individuals, there of course still remains a responsibility to listen, learn, and unlearn, and also, as we collectively feel our way through these times finding “our lanes”, we see that there is not just one way.
Food and art as a site of possibility
Black Feast is a love letter to food, to art, and to Black people. An artful and conceptual experience founded and directed by artist and chef Salimatu Amabebe supported with creative direction by Annika Hansteen-Izora, Black Feast is based in Portland, Oregon with pop-ups in California and New York. Together, Amabebe and Hansteen-Izora have created experiences “where food celebrates Black art, Black stories, Black love, Black movement, and Black voices.”
[Black Feast founder and chef Salimatu Amabebe in front of an altar at their Portland pop-up Love Letters To Black People. Photo by Jesse Carter.]
“Black Feast was created as a way to not only make space at the table for Black artists, but to design a whole new table for us.”
Black Feast was an evolutionary next-step after Amabebe began feeling burnt out on their pop-up plant-based Nigerian food restaurant. Partnering with Hansteen-Izora, Black Feast was born with a focus on artistic experiential dining open to all and a clarified vision: to celebrate and serve Black people. They say, “at our table, guests participate in an experience that weaves together food and art, where Salimatu works with Black artists to create a four-course vegan, gluten-free, and cane sugar free gourmet meal based off of the artist’s work.”
A pivot towards more love
During the summer of 2020, during the pandemic and after the murder of George Floyd spurred both a great heartbreak for the Black community and a great-awakening for non-Black folks, Black Feast took a pivot from multi-course meals and ran a series they called Love Letters To Black Folks. The project took place in both Berkeley California and Portland Oregon and involved offering free dessert, love letter, and care packages by reservation to Black Folks in these communities. Desserts were created by Amabebe, and letters were written by Hansteen-Izora. It was a labor of love made possible by not only the artists and chefs but also by donors and volunteers. Since then, these seasonal pop-up care packages have become their focus.
Black Feast current offerings
In honor of the spirit of more love, beauty, art, equality and justice, may Black Feast offer us another way; another path of resistance, one of restoration, of community building, of service, of proliferating experiences of joy.
Their website is lovely but minimal and it seems that they offer updates on current events mainly through their Instagram. There you will find announcements for seasonal pop-ups with information on how you can make a reservation (like for their delectable cookie boxes!) or make a monetary donation to support the distribution of free care packages to Black folks in the community.
Your investment helps Black Feast to continue supporting their communities
Stay connected with news and offerings from Black FeastFollow and stay updated on current pop-ups on Instagram @black.feast
Visit their website
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“Black joy is a source of resistance.”
*all photos by Jessa Carter, information and quoted copy from www.blackfeast.com