The Cooking Show Gives Us Something to Savor


May 15-18 at SomArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan (at Eighth St.), S.F. Tickets are $18-$20; call 864-4126 or visit

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Multicultural food blends with progressive politics in this warm and amusing performance about what we put into — and what comes out of — our mouths. Mero Cochinero Karimi (Robert Karimi) and Comrade Cochinero Castro (John Castro) draw on their own Iranian, Guatemalan, and Filipino backgrounds to create dishes and stories that speak to how we can create stronger communities. Even something as simple as taking the time to look at and then slowly taste a single mint leaf reflects our larger need to appreciate and take stock of the world in which we live. But rather than hammer us with these little life philosophies, Karimi and Castro sprinkle them generously throughout their entertaining 95-minute live cooking show. There's lots of clapping and cheering à la Emeril Lagasse, but instead of "kicking it up a notch," they encourage us to "empower your palate." There's also no system of measuring any of the ingredients, because systems are only used to "keep us down." But even as these self-proclaimed revolutionary chefs poke fun at their own beliefs, the flavors and ideas they invite you to savor will linger for a long time to come.

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