Wave Pool's Frozen 'Welcome Table' Box Dinners Blend Storytelling and Cuisine from Immigrant Chefs

The meal kits serve four to six and will be available at Dean's Mediterranean in Findlay Market and The Welcome Project in Camp Washington starting mid-May

click to enlarge The packaging for the first frozen dish - PHOTO: PROVIDED BY WAVE POOL
Photo: Provided by Wave Pool
The packaging for the first frozen dish

Wave Pool has joined forces with Dean's Mediterranean to create a series of frozen boxed meal kits that share both the cuisine and culture of immigrant chefs.

"As an evolution of our Cincinnati's Table dinner series aimed at connecting and sharing the food and stories of Cincinnati's immigrant and refugee residents, we are launching a frozen dinner series called Welcome Table," says Wave Pool Executive Director Cal Cullen in an email. 

The Welcome Table heat-and-eat meals contain four to six servings and cost $20. They'll be for sale starting mid-May at Dean's Mediterranean (108 W. Elder St., Findlay Market) and The Welcome Project (2936 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington). The first boxed meal, which will be Iraqi biryani, comes from refugee chef Azzezah Ali.

click to enlarge "Azzezah Ali’s Biryani dish, which is the first featured story and dish for this series," says Wave Pool - PHOTO: PROVIDED BY WAVE POOL
Photo: Provided by Wave Pool
"Azzezah Ali’s Biryani dish, which is the first featured story and dish for this series," says Wave Pool

Each boxed meal kit will also feature "interactive wrappings" designed by artist group Collective Action Studio that relays the story about the chef who made the dish. The wrapping also "encourage(s) those who purchase the meals to participate by contributing their own meal and story to (Collective Action Studio's) growing collection of oral histories and recipes," says a release.

Collective Action Studio was the group behind the War Gastronomy installation at the Contemporary Arts Center in 2018, which used a street food cart and recipes to share stories of relocation. 

“This project is a way to encourage connection and understanding during a time when we can’t host the large community dinners that we typically do,” says Cullen.

Learn more about The Welcome Project and Welcome Table at welcomecincinnati.org.

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