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Oxford Cultural Collective Forms partnership with Carnegie Hall, New York


The Oxford Cultural Collective is thrilled to announce a partnership with Carnegie Hall, one of the United States’ most respected cultural institutions.


OCC will stage three events in New York in May 2019 as part of Carnegie Hall’s festival – Migrations: The Making of America.


The events will be hosted and curated by Madhur Jaffrey CBE, Dr Jessica B Harris and Mariana Velasquez.


The history of America is indelibly linked to the movement of people. Some were taken there against their will, yet their perseverance and resilience transformed the nation. Others went to America, or moved within its borders, because they sought a new life, free from poverty, discrimination and persecution. The many contributions of these migrant communities – cultural, social and political – and the people who helped to build the country and to define what it means to be American, will be honoured in Carnegie Hall’s festival Migrations: The Making of America.

The Oxford Cultural Collective’s events will focus on three particular migrations: from African nations, from Colombia and from India.

Distinguished speakers will explore how contemporary culinary taste has been shaped by the movement of people, the role of culinary traditions in tying individuals and communities to their cultural roots and in fuelling collective identity and pride, and how the evolution of food cultures reveals broader themes of inclusion and exclusion.

Each event will include a drinks reception and dinner that reflects its theme. In life-affirming style, the dinners will remind us that eating together helps us achieve cultural understanding and mutual respect.


Wednesday, 1st May 2019 at 7.30pm

Sea Changes: Culinary Journeys from Africa to the Americas, with Dr. Jessica B. Harris

Dr. Jessica B. Harris, American culinary historian and author of numerous cookbooks documenting the foods of the African Diaspora, will relay the fascinating history of African American cuisine, taking us on a harrowing journey from Africa across the Atlantic to America. From collard greens and ham hocks to vegan soul, Harris will celebrate the delicious and restorative foods of African American people and detail how they came to be a defining part of African American culture and identity. For many, the story of African cuisine in America is only about enslavement. Harris, however will ultimately chronicle a thrilling history of triumph and survival.


Wednesday, 8th May 2019 at 7.30pm

Transforming Colombian Agriculture: Fuelling Hope and Pride, with Mariana Velasquez

Celebrated cookbook author and food stylist Mariana Velasquez will explore a gradual transformation that is taking place in Colombian agriculture. Farmers who once grew illicit crops are now producing indigenous ingredients that enrich the country’s distinctive culinary culture. For Colombian migrants in America, this story of change is a source of great pride. Increasingly, the food of Colombia is this migrant community’s emotional tie to its homeland.


Wednesday, 15th May 2019 at 7.30pm

Free Minds in a Free Nation: A Personal Journey with Madhur Jaffrey CBE

Celebrated food writer, cookbook author, and actress Madhur Jaffrey lived through the Partition of India in 1947 as a young teenager, and witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of enforced migration. She arrived in the US alone, on board the Queen Mary, and soon became part of a vibrant, artistic, multi-cultural community. Jaffrey will share what America came to represent for her: free minds in a free nation, where those from different backgrounds could co-exist. Initially a culinary novice, she will reflect on how Indian cuisine soon became a powerful means of connecting with her cultural roots.


Events cost $160 per guest, to include drinks reception, three course dinner with wine, and contribution from distinguished speaker.  Locations to be announced in February 2019, after which tickets will go on sale. 

To register your interest in any one of these events, follow this link.

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