Anissa Helou discusses her favorite recipes — and camel humps

Most recently the author of “Feast: Food of the Islamic World,” Anissa Helou grew up in Beirut with a Syrian father and Lebanese mother, and wrote her first book about Lebanese food in 1994. Now, she lives in Sicily (“It has everything that I was brought up with: seasonality, sunshine, the sea, lovely people, hospitality. But there is no ISIS,” she explains), but she’s still writing about the food of the Islamic world — “Feast” collects recipes from Muslim cultures ranging from Indonesia to Iran and India to Qatar. At Now Serving, Helou talked with Evan Kleiman about her research tactics, her favorite biryani recipe, and a one-time plan to make lardo from a camel’s hump.

At the Broad Museum, the Groundbreaking ‘Soul of a Nation’ Puts a Refreshed Focus on the Struggles of Black Artists in LA

The 1960s ignited a generation of activists fueled by inequity, unrest, and uprisings, and the art created during this time was a visual by-product of the nation’s struggle toward equality. But the work of African American artists during this era remained in the shadows of the art world, largely unrecognized by mainstream audiences.

In other words, the sustained inclusion of Black art in the historical canon is a slow, evolutionary process that was catalyzed by revolutionary acts.

Silk Road Super | Hushidar Mortezaie

Born in Tehran, Hushidar Mortezaie immigrated to California’s Bay Area in 1975. This multidisciplinary artist navigates through different mediums amongst which painting, fashion design, silkscreen or illustration. His home country, Iran, remains an endless source of inspiration to him.
After studying Fine Arts at UC Berkeley, Hushidar met partner Michael Sears, a designer himelf, with whom he moved to NYC.
In the Big Apple, Mortezaie became a buyer and boutique curator at Patricia Field, highly recognized for her stylist job on TV show Sex & The City.

Feasting and fasting: The meaning of the rituals of Ramadan

Fasting is a ritual practiced by all religions.

For Christians, it happens during Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter when many abstain from eating foods of their choosing to emulate the time Christ spent in the Judean desert. For Muslims the daily fast during the month of Ramadan is more about purification than penitence. The fast is broken nightly at iftars, gatherings where the feasting and socializing are as important as the fasting that precedes them.

An artist trades abstract canvases for pop-up soul food

Under an overcast February sky at Paramount Pictures’ backlot — which was set up to resemble a New York City street embedded with art installations, including paintings of laundry strung between faux brownstones — Ray Anthony Barrett plated a meticulous and tiny take on hoppin’ John, deconstructed sweet potato pie and diminutive Maldon salt-studded hoe cakes.

How leading roles for women in Bollywood have evolved over the years

In its almost 70-decade long history, Bollywood has seen the female lead take on many forms, from the sacrificing mother, whimpering damsel in distress, to a woman in charge of her own destiny. But the one thing that becomes clear when you set out to chart the evolution of women in Bollywood is the role of the viewers’ gaze, which in turn has informed by a variety of factors, including politics, socio-economic structure of the society at that particular time, and evolution of culture.

Native Son Gets the James Baldwin Edit

Selling more than 215,000 copies in the three weeks following its American debut, Richard Wright’s 1940 novel, Native Son, successfully captivated readers nationwide. The story of Bigger Thomas—a hardened, murderous black 20-year-old confronting poverty in Depression-era Chicago—thrust audiences into a complicated conversation about race and racism in America. The book garnered comparisons to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and earned Wright the title of America’s “best Negro writer.”