Nashvillians invited to dine, discuss tough topics

Chef and cultural critic Tunde Wey uses food to create provocative and transformative experiences. Wey will cook and presents food at The Post East to address issues of race and class.

New and native Nashvillians alike will have the opportunity this month to discuss issues of gentrification, displacement and income inequality over dinner, as nationally known chef-artist, Tunde Wey, presents H*t Chicken Sh**t, part of Metro Arts’ citywide temporary art exhibition, Build Better Tables.

Guests are invited to purchase tickets to one of three dinners given July 19, 20 and 21 at The Post East, 1701 Fatherland St., where Wey will prepare a dinner and facilitate discussion around topics including cultural appropriation, class privilege and a path forward in a rapidly developing and gentrifying Nashville.

The project is named for the spicy poultry that’s a cornerstone of Nashville culture, with the addition of the word ‘sheet,’ a tongue-in-cheek nod to the cooking processes and ingredients of Wey’s native Nigeria. H*t Chicken Sh**t is built upon the premise that there is a solution to the issue of gentrification, which Wey will reveal during the course of each evening.

Wey contends that the process of gentrification often starts with food spaces.

“Restaurants, coffee shops, and specialty grocery stores have become weaponized as tools of discriminatory development,” said Wey. “These food spaces access artificially depressed property prices, local and inexpensive labor, and our collective bias towards a redemptive narrative. Their initial success draws media attention, patronage from outside the community, and further investment in comparable businesses until everything is new and unwelcoming.”

“As we approach one of the final projects presented in the Build Better Tables exhibition, Metro Arts is interested in fostering hard conversations about the way our city is growing and changing,” said Metro Arts Interim Director Caroline Vincent. “Tunde Wey has brought people together in cities across the country to discuss complicated subjects, and having those discussions over a shared meal is central to the theme of Build Better Tables: how food intersects with the community.”

Curated by Nicole J. Caruth, Build Better Tables is Metro Arts’ inaugural citywide temporary public art exhibition.
Featuring projects from nine artists and organizations, Build Better Tables focuses on the intersection of food and community.

The artists’ projects include an outdoor bread oven and neighborhood hearth, a bicycle rickshaw for fresh produce delivery and dining events that explore the role of food in discriminatory development.

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