And Celebrating Syria festival goes on... although we are more than halfway through! On Wednesday 9 December 2020 we had the opportunity to virtually meet Antonio Tahhan, food blogger and writer, talking to us from the US, yes the US, about food, culture and identity. It was a wonderful conversation with Antonio on food, culture, and identity.
Born in Venezuela to a Middle Eastern family and growing up in Miami, Antonio Tahhan draws inspiration from a variety of cultures.
Tony pursued degrees in Math, Economics, and Spanish Literature from Cornell University. As an elective course, he explored food anthropology and became fascinated by its stories, traditions, and taboos. In 2010, Tony was awarded a Fulbright Research grant to Syria, where he studied the midday meal in three contexts: at homes, in restaurants, and in the streets. From cooking to eating, food was a natural vehicle for cultural exchange and one that he continues to explore. From his current home in Baltimore, Tony documents recipes and stories from Aleppo and his many travels, bringing people together online and in person around the love of food.
During the COVID pandemic, Tony launched a web series called “Teta Thursdays,” a virtual conversation on food, culture, and identity. Every week, he interviewed food writers and researchers who specialize in the food culture of the Arab world. Tony is currently in the Master of Arts in Arab Studies programme at Georgetown University.