Artist Projects

Enemy Kitchen

Michael Rakowitz

Enemy Kitchen is an ongoing collaboration between Michael Rakowitz and his Iraqi-Jewish mother, in which he compiles Baghdadi recipes and teaches them to different public audiences. For the first incarnation of the project, Rakowitz cooked with a group of middle school and high school students who live in the Chelsea neighborhood in New York and participate in programs at the Hudson Guild Community Center. The project functioned as a social sculpture: while cooking and eating, the students engaged each other on the topic of the war and drew parallels with their own lives, at times making comparisons with bullies in relation to how they perceive the conflict. Future plans include a pilot for an Enemy Kitchen cooking show, featuring Rakowitz and the students from Hudson Guild, to be broadcast on public access television and online, and a series of lessons for New York City public school cafeteria chefs, to help them serve Iraqi food as part of their everyday menus.