Check out New Video from Charlotte Residency

May 14, 2015
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Here’s a video from the 2015 Residency at the McColl Center. This gives you a sense what happen when The Peoples Cook project resides in a city for months and months.


Selena: How San Antonio Remembered Her

Mar 31, 2015

by Robert Karimi

Originally published in La Prensa de San Antonio 1995

The weather forecasters predicted partly cloudy skies last Thursday, but the sky was a dark grey last Friday. San Antonians coming from lunch, work, school or on the freeway were shocked when they heard Selena had been shot in Corpus Christi. “I thought she would pull through,” said one woman. No one expected…

Death. At 2:05 p.m. In Memorial Hospital. I think it started to rain here in San Antonio. With April Fool’s Day just around the corner, folks were hoping that someone was playing a trick on San Antonio, but when KXTN started playing continuos Selena hits. Bidi bid bom bom. Fotos y Recuerdos. And announced the vigil at Sunken Gardens around the same time KRIO announced their vigil at South Park Mall, the reality shattered the hearts of San Antonians as the Queen of the capital of la onda Tejana.

Car lights lined up through the streets outside Sunken Garden. Selena’s voice can be heard on everyone’s radio. Inside, hands, little and big, grab for thin white rose-like candles. Two huge Coca-cola posters of Selena stand onstage. An Amor Prohibido poster place on a huge block was placed center stage. All not the same as the real thing.

Many of the faces in the crowd were women. Young and old. Tears coming down. One mother and her daughter held up a sign, “Thank You, Selena.” KXTN Johnny Rodriguez asked fans to come up to the microphone to share their memories of Selena. Many women talked about the hope she provided. Her success was the goal of many, but also her generosity and openness was what many strove for as well. One woman said that Selena kept her relationship from ending. “My boyfriend used to say I danced provocatively and wanted to break up with me,” she said trying to fight back the tears. “When he saw Selena and how she danced…we stayed together.” Another young man said that a conversation with Selena changed his life. “We talked, and she said I should go back to school. I did and now I’m about to finish. I owe it all to Selena.”

KXTN had originally planned for a mariachi to perform, but the people kept coming and coming onstage. A man kneeling a prating in front of her poster was what was the catalyst. Towards, the end of the night there were more people onstage than in the seats. Everyone praying for and remembering Selena in their own way. Lighting a candle. Kissing her poster. Or as one woman, telling the world how she felt, she announced loudly onstage, “Selena was a role model for Hispanic women! Via los Hispanics! Viva Selena!”

It rained Monday. From drizzle to very hard. In Corpus there was a private funeral for Selena. In San Antonio, there was a public Mass at San Fernando’s Cathedral for Selena. At noon, hundreds packed the Cathedral. Many were wearing pink ribbons in her memory. A line formed afterwards people did signs of the cross and kissed a poster at the front of the cathedral. Many even remained for the rosary. Outside, Robert Chavez noted that he and 67 other cars caravaned to Corpus for the viewing of the body. He had made his Oldsmobile a memorial to Selena and said he hoped to drive with other across Texas in her memory. “She’ll always be a star with us,” he said.

By Tuesday, Selena Etc., Selena’s boutique on the 3700 block of Broadway Ave. had become a shrine to the Tejana star. Balloons. Flowers. Poems. Pictures. Art. All created their own mural on the walls of the boutique. Stranger, friends, and families came together. They spoke about her accomplishment. Old memories, and left at the boutique what they felt about her.

It was still cloudy. The continuous flow of people were not stopped by the rain. One woman said that the rain was “the angels crying up in heaven because they’re so happy Selena is singing for them.”

Now, the sun now shines in San Antonio. Tejano radio stations are playing their regular playlists. People are going to work. Some, cleaning the “we love you Selena” off their cars so they can see through their windows. Even the front entrance of Selena,Etc. has been cleaned off of flowers, pictures, looking as if it may open some…

Day. It’s a new day. We are without the physical Selena, but her spirit is locked into our hearts and minds. “It’s going to be hard to forgive Norma Saldivar, but its going to be harder to forget Selena,” said one man at Sunken Gardens. But the words of Ashley Urrabas, 6 say it best. Kneeling, holding the pen so she could write in her best handwriting wrote, “I will miss you Selena.” We will.


Make your own Burrito Dinner to Free a Journalist held in Iran

Mar 12, 2015

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Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian has been detained in Iran since JULY 22, 2014. He has now been held longer than any previous Western journalist in Iran. No charges have been brought against him.

When I first started my Cooking Show, I made an Abgoosht Burrito, a burrito made from a Persian stew soup recipe that I ate as a child. It’s a tasty symbol of the way my family created food adaptations that became my heritage. I mentioned it online, and Jason tweeted me wanting one; I joked that one day I have a restaurant, I will make him one.

Every day Jason is in jail, all I can think about is feeding him that burrito he wanted.

I need your help. I want us to turn up the volume on Jason’s detention. I want us to make that burrito he wanted, share his story, and pressure our leaders and Iranian leaders to let him come home for Persian New Year, Nowruz. A new year brings peace and freedom!

I have created a packet to host your own dinner. It contains all the instructions. You can download it by clicking

here.

And you can sign a petition of support

here.

And after your dinner or lunch, be sure to call the Iranian Mission to the UN and request Jason’s (and his wife Yegi, who was also arrested, but freed on bond) release:  (212) 687-2020.

Sample statement:

“My name is XXXX, I am concerned about the welfare of reporters Jason Rezaian and Yeganeh Salehi. I encourage the Iranian government to release them immediately and let them be reunited with their work and families.”

Please join us and bring Jason home.


The Abgoosht Burrito How -To video

Mar 10, 2015

In 3 minutes, Mero Cocinero gives you a visual on how to make an Abgoosht Burrito.

Abgoosht Burrito Recipe from robert karimi on Vimeo.

141029192505-aman-jason-rezaian-story-tablet

Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian has been detained in Iran since JULY 22, 2014. He has now been held longer than any previous Western journalist in Iran. No charges have been brought against him.

When I first started my Cooking Show, I made an Abgoosht Burrito, a burrito made from a Persian stew soup recipe that I ate as a child. It’s a tasty symbol of the way my family created food adaptations that became my heritage. I mentioned it online, and Jason tweeted me wanting one; I joked that one day I have a restaurant, I will make him one.

Every day Jason is in jail, all I can think about is feeding him that burrito he wanted.

I need your help. I want us to turn up the volume on Jason’s detention. I want us to make that burrito he wanted, share his story, and pressure our leaders and Iranian leaders to let him come home for Persian New Year, Nowruz. A new year brings peace and freedom!

I have created a packet to host your own dinner. It contains all the instructions. You can download it by clicking

here.

And you can sign a petition of support

here.

And after your dinner or lunch, be sure to call the Iranian Mission to the UN and request Jason’s (and his wife Yegi, who was also arrested, but freed on bond) release:  (212) 687-2020.

Sample statement:

“My name is XXXX, I am concerned about the welfare of reporters Jason Rezaian and Yeganeh Salehi. I encourage the Iranian government to release them immediately and let them be reunited with their work and families.”

Please join us and bring Jason home.


Thank you for a great 2014, we look forward to 2015!!

Dec 17, 2014

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From everyone here at ThePeoplesCook project, and all the folks at  Kaotic Good Productions we want to thank you for a wonderful year. We served almost 10,000 people in 5 cities, and we’re getting ready for our next adventure in Charlotte, North Carolina. We’ll be placing a year in review and updates about the upcoming work, soon.

Meanwhile, check out : TravelCook

to see where artistic director Robert Karimi’s next adventure is, was, is, was, is…whoosh!


Watch the Letters to Our Grandchildren video

Dec 12, 2014

Produced by ThePeoplesCook with Lazy Hmong Woman Productions and directed by Joua Lee, check out the new video documenting the Letters to Our Grandchildren project. See it here, or go to the vimeo page:

for more information on the 2014 project, go the Wisdom page.


Keeb Kwm/Stories of Our Life Runs September 17 -30th

Sep 16, 2014

LTOG for PRess - 1 LTOG Rehearsal 2 LTOG Rehearsal 3The PeoplesCook in partnership with Lazy Hmong Woman Productions is proud to present another food wisdom project that’s part of our series of interactive experiences getting folks to reconnect to cultural stories and recipes. We have been working with elders in the Latino, African American and Asian communities for years, so ThePeoplesCook is being more intentional in creating projects where elders can share food and cultural wisdom in their own terms. Our project in St. Paul,  Artistic Director Robert Karimi has partnered with artist May Lee-Yang to create Keeb Kwm/Stories of our Life, a performance by Hmong elders sharing their stories of their experiences.

Keeb Kwm is part of the  Letters to Our Grandchildren project which engages Hmong elders in sharing their experiences through food, theater, and storytelling to give voice to the gifts they want to leave to the next generation. As Yang and Karimi point out, “When we first started on this adventure, we told the elders, “We want to create a space where you can tell your own stories.””

Working with Hmong Elders for over 6 months, theater makers and lead artists May Lee-Yang and Robert Karimi led Hmong elders from the Hmong Elders Center through a variety of theater games, physical exercises, and food storytelling experiences to get participants to create an original theater performance.

Here are the dates:

At the Hmong Elder Center
1337 Rice St., St. Paul, 55117

Sept. 17th and Sept. 30th at 1pm (RSVP required)

 

at the Arlington Hills Library
1200 Payne Ave., St. Paul, MN 55130
Sept. 18 at 7:00P (Public)

 

at the Hmong Elder Center
1337 Rice St., St. Paul, 55117
Sept. 23rd at 7:00P (Public)

 

on Hmong FM – KFAI  90.3 (Minneapolis)/106.7 (St. Paul)
Sept. 26th 6:30-7:30 

 

 

All performances are free.

Please call 336-612-3663 to reserve for all Performances.

 

Call 336-612-3663 for more information or email us at u@thepeoplescook.org


August 30th – Holding Court part of the 2014 Holding Court Counter Revolutionaria Residency

Aug 24, 2014

Holding Court-a gathering of tastes and

Working with Ellen Chang from amazing Oakland restuarant FuseBOX, Robert Karimi will perform a new work entitled Viva La Lunchbox: From what is missing, we find abundance/ our hands up, we make force fields, Karimi will weave poetry, smacktalking, D&D dungeonmastering and food to talk about remembering the power of those have touched our lives nourishes us. This is the final installment of FuseBOX’s and ThePeoplesCook collaboration and homecoming for Karimi, who will celebrate his birthday at the restaurant all night.

go to FuseBOX site for more details: click here


Hello

Aug 23, 2014

This is amazing!!!


Beginning work on Culinary Art Car in Sheboygan

Apr 25, 2014

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I was in Sheboygan a few months ago, doing preliminary work for the Culinary Art Car project at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. The project is to build a culinary art car, and then activate it with the community as it becomes a symbol of community well-being.

Working with visual artist MacMaker, and JMKAC’s Andrea Avery, we made a lot of visits to folks that will be potential partners. It was super exciting. More details in the coming months.