This Nigerian chef is using Nigerian food to interrogate the various systems of power in America.
It's another Monday and we bring you another Man Crush, Chef Tunde Wey!
Nigerian-born, New Orleans-based chef, Tunde Wey, is the co-owner of (revolver) in Hamtramck, Michigan, a community table restaurant where talented chefs are invited to serve locally sourced, communal menus in the style of traditional French guesthouses.
He doesn’t only cook and serve food—he also asks diners to engage with inequality in the United States. As a chef and a writer, Wey sees his work as an intersection of food and critical discourse, hence, he always tries to address social and racial disparities in America with quality Nigerian food such as Jollof Rice, Asaro, Roasted plantain, etc.
In 2016, Wey started the Blackness in America Dinner Series, which offered a chance for people to come together in 14 cities across the country to discuss how blackness intersects with their work and lives. After that, he launched 1882, a dinner series that explored anti-immigrant attitudes in the United States, starting with the Chinese Exclusion Act. In October of 2017, he hosted the 4:44 series which critiqued the themes of wealth and capitalism in JayZ's 4:44 album and considered racial wealth disparities and their impact on food systems.
In February, he introduced a limited edition pop-up lunch counter, serving authentic Nigeria, called Saartj in New Orleans. This was a social experiment to interrogate racial wage/income disparity in New Orleans by making white customers choose between paying $12 and $30 for a pack of lunch while black customers pay $12 and get the $18 difference as an added advantage.
He has been profiled by GQ Magazine and the LA Weekly.