#QuotableMondays: Conflict Kitchen & Promoting Cultural Understanding

Can an food outlet actually double as an art project? In the case of Conflict Kitchen, yes. And it’s generated some important political conversations along with it.

The restaurant, located in Pittsburgh, serves up cuisine from countries with which the United States is in a state of conflict. That includes places like North Korea, Cuba and Iran, among others.


all photos courtesy of Conflict Kitchen’s website


Here’s a piece I caught on BBC News that first got me thinking:

“Our goal is to create a larger discourse with the countries we’re in conflict with,” says Conflict Kitchen co-director Jon Rubin.

But it’s the post on their website that qualifies as Pizza for Good’s #QuotableMonday entry. A major kerfuffle erupted when CK passed out fliers with a recent Palestinian-food offering; some objected to the content being excessively pro-Palestinian. As a result, Heinz bowed to outside pressure and pulled funding.

“Promoting understanding is at the core of Conflict Kitchen’s mission. We have demonstrated this in the past by presenting the food, culture, and viewpoints of Iranians, Afghans, Cubans, North Koreans, and Venezuelans. We believe that presenting the viewpoints of Palestinians promotes understanding of Palestinians.

Protecting freedom of expression from the influence of biased media and powerful political and lobbying groups is essential for the cultural and political health of a democratic society. We are extremely upset that one of Pittsburgh’s most important arts and culture funders would disavow their grant to us when seemingly pressured by strong outside forces.”

No matter what your viewpoint is on this, it’s always important for all sides to keep talking. And that’s exactly what Conflict Kitchen is engendering. Bravo.

all photos courtesy of Conflict Kitchen's website

all photos courtesy of Conflict Kitchen’s website


#QuotableMondays: Truth is Like a Mosaic [World AIDS Day]


On a day of reflection for the 26th commemoration of World AIDS Day, we kick off ARTvision Atlanta‘s fund-raising season with a quote from a new artist presenting this year in support of Positive Impact. Dee Ruff, in her submission statement, talked a bit about how positive change and illumination do not always come in an instant:

“Having worked for more than 17 years as a MSW in health care, and 7 years in Medical Massage Therapy, I would be honored for my mosaic art to benefit Positive Impact. I reluctantly retired early from a beloved career because of some health issues (now mostly resolved). Shortly after retiring, I unexpectedly discovered mosaic art.

Positive change can transform disappointment into contentment. Positive change can transform PI clients into a state of peacefulness, and it can happen piece by piece, just like a mosaic. One of my favorite quotes: ‘There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.'” (Anaïs Nin)

ARTvision got its start in 2006 as an offshoot of my annual New Year’s Eve gourmet-pizza celebration, and would launch its online fundraising every 1st of December. ARTvision, now a stand-alone event that culminates at the NYE party, has raised more than $50,000 for Positive Impact. And it all leads back to the power of the pie—bringing people together to make a difference.

Pizza for Good tells that story at great length, and gives you the tips and tricks to do it yourself at home, to build your own community.

(And if you buy it for the fun, yummy recipes nobody would blame you.)

Watch for more posts from me this month about the connection between ARTvision, pizza power, PFG and Positive Impact. ARTvision kicks off its 9th year of fund-raising today, and will continue throughout the month of December. (read more)


[VIDEO] Happy Thanksgiving from Will & ‘Pizza for Good’

As we enter the 2014 holiday home-stretch, just a quick note to let you know how much I appreciate the followers of the Pizza for Good book blog… past, present and future! Here are a few pieces of video candy for you to enjoy in the days leading up to Thanksgiving:

“There’s a joy in reaching for something more.” Have a look at the PFG mini-doc:

Also (with a h/t to Jason Maynard), here’s a gal named Mary Risely whose no-nonsense approach to Turkey Day is rather refreshing:

Finally, have a look at my gal pal Nancy Giles as she test-drives a new, wifi-enabled crock pot that is now on my shopping list:

Pizza for Good is a great way to enjoy pizza and to bring people together for the holidays. Buy it today—the eBook OR the print version—and you won’t regret it! As always, online reviews are greatly appreciated.

Most of all, cheers to a safe and happy Thanksgiving! :)

Pizza for GoodBuy it for the recipes, use it to build community #GoodRising

"Pizza for Good" chapter-heading design for the print version

Two Days Left: DISCOUNT on ‘Pizza for Good’ in Print

You may have seen the tweets flying around the interwebs, talking up the promotion to take $3 off Pizza for Good in print:

or this one:

So, time to head over to my Etsy page (using the code: twitter) and score your very own discounted copy! Supplies are limited. As a bonus, you’ll also receive a coupon for 75% off the eBook version, with enhanced video and professional photography.


This offer is good until tomorrow at midnight! (more)

#QuotableMondays: ‘I’m Having a Relationship with My Pizza’ [VIDEO]

How many of you have felt this way? From the film “Eat Pray Love” and based on the book of the same name, Elizabeth (Julia Roberts) declares how she’s no longer going to obsess over weight gain:

It’s a great message to love yourself and your body as it is. But exercise—particularly after eating pizza, which can be high in calories, fat and carbs—is equally good for your soul and well-being.

So, go on and have that relationship with your pizza. And yourself. Quoting from Round One of Pizza for Good:

“Always complement your pizza consumption with lots of sweat and activity the next day. You’ll be giving yourself some carb energy to go for a run, do a hike, or get on the treadmill for 30 minutes.”

Pizza for Good: Buy it for the recipes, use it to build community

Another Five-star ‘Pizza for Good’ Review!

This is our latest:

“Delicious pizza recipes and information on ways to improve and give back to your own community – Pizza for Good is a must-have for all culinary and philanthropic enthusiasts!”

Thank you Chuck Carter for your stellar review. Read the review in its entirety here, and let this be a reminder: we need YOUR stellar reviews locked in on Amazon! If you’ve read PFG and can take a few minutes, excellent reviews help the book with discoverability. Click here to leave your own review.

Thanks again Chuck!