Chefs stage pop-up dinners to tell stories, many of them focused on identity. Whether’s it’s to highlight African American chefs, develop a platform for South Asian American chefs in the South, or focus on Appalachia’s food history, the dinners weave identity into the courses.

For chefs, pop-up dinners are opportunities to network and build camaraderie. For diners, they have the potential to educate. Ultimately, these events aim to shift identity narratives.

Learn more about:

Soul Food Sessions

Brown in the South

Lost Creek Farm

Irina Zhorov is a writer, photographer, and producer. Her work has appeared on NPR, Planet Money, and 99 Percent Invisible. She’s a Philly girl living on an old horse farm in North Carolina and working on a novel set in Siberia. 

Music for this episode is from Blue Dot Sessions: “Discovery Harbor” by Cloud Harbor, “Flagger” by Cloud Harbor, “For We Shall Know Speed” by Truck Stop, “Noe Noe” by Castro, and “Yarrow and Root” by The Bulwark.