September, 2016
Fugitive Waves #55 – Between Us, Bread and Salt: Lebanese Hidden Kitchens

Fugitive Waves #55 – Between Us, Bread and Salt: Lebanese Hidden Kitchens

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  • Kamal Mouzawak at Tawlet, Beirut. Photo by Roland Ragi.

A road trip through the hidden kitchens of Lebanon, with kitchen activist, Kamal Mouzawak, a man with a vision of re-building and uniting this war-ravaged nation through its traditions, its culture and its food. We visit farmer’s markets, restaurants, and guest houses known as Souk el Tayeb that he and his kitchen community have created.

This story is part of Hidden Kitchens: War and Peace and Food, a series of stories about food and conflict, about the role food plays in helping resolve conflict between nations and communities, or in creating it.

Produced by Samuel Shelton Robinson and The Kitchen Sisters


Kamal Mouzawak with Najwa Azzam in the Chouf Mountains outside Beirut.


Illustration by Salim Azzam of his mother, Najwa preparing Akkoub. See more of Salim’s beautiful illustrations on Instagram: @azzamsalim.


Make Food Not War, one of the battle cries of Souk el Tayeb.


Bread giveaway for Syrian refugees at Bourj el-Barajneh refugee camp, Beirut.


Lebanese Home Cooking by Kamal Mouzawak.

The Apple Road

The Apple Road

“Humanity will be cured and saved by an orchard”
-Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Awhile back we were at Leila’s Shop in the East End of London, interviewing Leila McAlister, neighborhood kitchen activist, cook and grocer about her efforts to build community through food, when a beautiful Russian woman suddenly appeared balancing a high stack of beautifully illustrated candy boxes from a town called Kolomna, some 70 miles east of Moscow. Leila lit up, put down the prosciutto and began to tell us the remarkable history of Kolomna Pastila a nearly lost tradition of apple sweets, a tradition dating back to the time and orchards of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, now being revived by a group of Russian women, Natalia Nikitizna, Elena Dmitrieva and Elena Shampanova. They call the project the Kolomna Museum of Forgotten Taste. The revival of the candy factory of Kolomna has not only brought pastila to world at large, but has helped revive the once thriving town of Kolomna and is now taking the women on The Apple Road – in search of rare apples and lost orchards around the world to collaborate on reviving heritage breeds of apples and lost cultural traditions. An international project that brings people together from around the world in their love of apples, orchards and stories.

We had yet to make a story about this encounter, but this summer, Kitchen Sisters intern, David Fuchs from Middlebury, heard this orphan tape, and crafted this story — The Apple Road: A Hidden Russian Kitchen as part of our series, Hidden Kitchens: War and Peace and Food. Thank you, David.


This story was produced by David Fuchs – David first stumbled into the kitchen in October 2015 and returned as a full-fledged intern the following summer. Although he’s a third-generation Northern Californian, he was first bit by the radio bug while working as a Narrative Journalism Fellow at Middlebury College in Vermont. His work as a radio producer and print journalist has been featured on KWMR, WDEV and Middlebury Magazine and in The Tiburon Ark,  The Addison Independent and Vermont Sports Magazine. As a rising senior, he hopes to combine his passion for journalism and background in geography to produce compelling stories that tie individual narratives into larger geographic contexts. When he’s not working on a story, you’ll most likely find him honking on the sax, bouncing around in the waves or tracking down the perfect burrito.

Fugitive Waves #54: Walking High Steel

Fugitive Waves #54: Walking High Steel

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Six generations of Mohawk Indian ironworkers, known for their ability to work high steel, have helped shape New York City’s skyline. Hundreds of Mohawks still commute to Manhattan each week from reservations in Canada to work on the city’s skyscrapers and bridges. In September 2001, a new generation returned to the World Trade Center site to dismantle what their elders had helped to build.

Produced by The Kitchen Sisters with Jamie York for the Sonic Memorial Project.