Hybrid Forum Italy


 Country  HF Title/ date 
ItalyWhat’s Ethnic Food?  6-11-2020 Peace ‘n’ Spice Restaurant, Padova 

Theme of the Forum  

The theme revolved around the idea of ethnic and traditional food.  

The forum took place in the premises of the Peace ‘n’ Spice restaurant which offers customers a series of dishes belonging to the Afghani, Iranian and Middle Eastern cuisine. The forum took place in a period where no customers were present that is after lunch and before dinner.    

Description of the hybrid forum 

The first part of the hybrid forum introduced the concepts of ethnic and traditional as applied to food from an anthropological perspective. It was stressed that those concepts were not fixed and self-contained but rather dynamic and context situated. 

Time:  6-11-2020   15.00-16.00h 

Part 1: expert part 

15-16 h: introduction /information part 

Who participated? 

Researchers (Alice Brombin, Donatella Schmidt) 

Associate Partners (Owners of Peace’n’ Spice)  

Restaurant Communication Manager 



Who was leading?


What happened? The researchers presented the Food2Gather project, its general goals and the role of food in the research scenarios. They tried to explain what was a hybrid forum, and introduced the theme to be discussed.   

Part 2: hybrid forum public dialogue 


Who participated? 

  • Researchers (Alice Brombin, Donatella Schmidt) 
  • Associate Partners (Owners of Peace ’n’ Spice)  
  • Restaurant Communication Manager 
  • Cook 
  • Employee 
  • Audience 

The dialogue was preceded by a narration of the owners’ life histories who retraced their years long journey from home to Italy passing through other countries where they have worked and learnt different culinary traditions.  

The public dialogue itself focused on the progressive transformation of an ethnic cuisine drawing from Afghanistan and Iran, the countries where the owners were borne or spent part of their life, to a cuisine more open to match the tastes of local customers.  

The menu of the restaurant was created on the travel experiences of the 3 owners (two of whom participated into the debate) as well as migrants and refugees who are serving as permanent or temporary cooks. All of them are allowed to contribute and recreate dishes initially coming from their family tradition and later modified by the routes travelled and the people encounters before settling in Italy. Accordingly, the 50 dishes on the menu are the product of a constant interplay among tradition, dishes encountered en route and the wish to meet the local taste. 

Description of the hybrid forum 

The owners would not define their cuisine as ethnic, but rather as a gourmet cuisine aiming to enrich culinary tastes of customers. They are actively engaged in a process of taste redefinition on the one hand and inclusion of local habits on the other (i.e. the use of spices in an aperitif). The local community (which includes students of the nearby university) is appreciative of ‘savouring’ new cultural horizons 

Picture: Sharing food together