If there is one thing that is proven to bring people together, it is food.

Following that philosophy, Arrell Food Institute and the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management (HFTM) at the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, are cooking up a new web series, Deep Dish Dialogues.

In recognition of Black History Month, the first episode airing Feb. 24 at noon will feature Toronto-based chef, food advocate and George Brown College culinary professor Bashir Munye; U of G food sustainability and marketing researcher Dr. Kimberly Thomas-Francois; and Arrell food scholar Abdul-Rahim Abdulai.

“Chef Bashir has so much food knowledge and education to share,” said Muriel O’Doherty, events manager at Arrell Food Institute. “We’re pleased he’s part of our series launch.”

A recipe and ‘a whole lot more’

Chef Bashir Munye stands over a cutting board on a counter
Chef Bashir Munye

Deep Dish Dialogues is one-part conversation, one-part education, one-part cooking show and will stream live on YouTube from the new state-of-the-art Anita Stewart Memorial Food Laboratory.

Featured chefs will use ingredients to create a variety of dishes, pairing their culinary expertise with researchers and scholars posing questions and offering context around food sustainability, food sovereignty and security, community health, nutrition, access, supply chains and food pricing.

“You’ll learn new recipes and a whole lot more,” O’Doherty said.

Munye’s menu includes king oyster mushrooms tagine, za’atar roasted cauliflower with tahini, couscous and sumac roasted eggplants, labneh, pomegrante and mint.

“It has always been important to me as a chef in creating food within the intersection of fresh, local seasonal ingredients and cultural diversity within the same plate,” he said. “I’m excited to cook along with you.”

The one-hour broadcast will feature chefs, U of G researchers and scholars at the intersection of food, education, culture and community.

An experience in the kitchen, and in culture

Dr. Statia Elliot
Dr. Statia Elliot

“Food connects to so many elements of our lives that matter,” said Dr. Statia Elliot, HFTM director and professor, adding “U of G is Canada’s food university.”

As a result of the pandemic, Elliot continued, many more people are spending time in the kitchen, thinking about how food impacts their local communities, where it comes from and what the future might look like when it comes to access and costs.

People are coming to appreciate what matters most, she said, and prioritizing the experiential over the materialistic.

“Food and cooking, that’s an experience,” she added. “It’s one that often connects to nostalgic memories, to our families and our cultures and opens possibilities for the future too.”



Dr. Statia Elliot