E-Dogz @ The Speakeasy

E-Dogz is a collaborative mobile kitchen project that is a platform for the cross-pollinating of foodways. Through collaborative cooking practices, Eric “E-Dog” May develops recipes with guest chefs that reflect the contemporary food landscape while promoting evolving cultural expressions. The guest chefs that work with E-Dogz range from professionals to home cooks and from artists to scientists with whom Erichas struck a dialog with in his continual food- obsessed travels and research. Oftentimes, he allows for the collaborator to guide the menu with their own recipes and traditions, while Eric plays role more as curator of ingredients, bringing to the table flora and fauna that demonstrate his worldview of contemporary eating- a common sense, sustainable approach that challenges societal prejudices toward food sources. E-Dogz intends to bridge cultural ideas about eating and cooking and promote discourse about food, advocating deeper understandings of what we eat- where it comes from and who is making it. The practices of cooking and eating are undeniably central to our lives and thusly are an easy-to-pick up conversation topic that transcends social differences. Street food, the kind of stuff prepared with modest facilities and resources and served out in the open to the public is a catalyst for such engagement. The sites of street food serve as urban oases for ever-shifting populations, gathering places for hungry working people and sites of cultural expression and lively discussion.  Promoting a democratic, evolving cuisine is the goal of the E-Dogz project. 

Like hotdogs and pizza, BBQ is one of those foods with fierce regional allegiances. In projects such as the International Hotdog Forum, E-Dogz has set aside such arguments for the sake of celebrating the diversity of all the great working class food traditions. For Speakeasy, E-Dogz will be showcasing the similarities and differences of Kansas City and Chicago styles of BBQ, while charting the history of these great traditions. Like Kansas City style BBQ, Chicago style has roots in the south, the former a direct descendant of Memphis style BBQ brought to KC by pitmaster Henry Perry and the latter style traveling up from the Mississippi Delta during the Second Great Migration in the 1950’s. The two styles have much in common- like all (real) BBQ the meat is smoked over hard wood and both share similarities in their sauce recipes- tomato based, thick, and sweet. Both Chicago and Kansas City were (and are) hubs of transportation and commerce with prevalent meatpacking industries, so we can safely call them carnivorous towns.

Join us on Friday, April 6th from 6-9 PM, as we celebrate the great Midwestern tradition of smoking meat over hardwood!

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About Sean M. Starowitz

Sean M. Starowitz’s work is executed in a variety of social, political, and community engaged contexts. Notable projects include Fresh Bread, BREAD! KC and Byproduct: The Laundromat. He has also explored curatorial projects such as The Speakeasy, and Vagabond, Kansas City’s premiere pop-up restaurant. He has contributed writings to Proximity Magazine and Temporary Art Review, and has lectured at Queens College in NY, UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures Department, and at American University in D.C. He currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri as the artist-in-residence at the Farm To Market Bread Company. He is a 2010 graduate of the Interdisciplinary Arts program at the Kansas City Art Institute and a 2012 Rocket Grant recipient with support from the Charlotte St. Foundation, Spencer Museum of Art and the Andy Warhol Foundation. More recently, he is a 2014 Charlotte St. Foundation Visual Art Award Fellow.
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