Welcome HOME: Food Meets Language!

Imagine that simply by tasting a warm, spicy Mexican soup you could not only fill your belly, but also start speaking in Spanish! Ok, so maybe that’s a slight stretch, but Home is hosting a very unique food + language event that includes the infamous pozole and Spanish practice.

The ancient mexican way of making the best salsas, in a molcajete!

The ancient mexican way of making the best salsas, in a molcajete!

To speak a language...

Come HOME and get some Mexican food + Spanish language in one night!

Meal Sharing had the chance to have a special conversation with the upcoming Chicago based underground dining experience. Get the insider look into what they have to say about their upcoming event, cultural connections, and what it means to be HOME!

1. Tell us about HOME! What does language mean to you? What does “home” mean to you?

Home is the experience we all share. It’s the feeling we get when we wake up to the smell of pancakes and coffee pulling us into our grandmother’s kitchen. It’s the joy we receive when we crowd into a friend’s studio apartment to share a meal they’ve prepared just for us. It’s the feeling we get when we sit down to the dinner table engaged only by people without a phone or newspaper in sight. Our concept is about re-creating those experiences. We’re inviting people from communities all over Chicago to get together, eat, discuss, and enjoy a meal together. The language piece? That’s the most important part. When you’re surrounded by great people, you could be sharing a 6 piece of chicken wings and you would still walk away from the table feeling fulfilled and grateful for the experience (JK, we like chicken wings too!). Now just imagine that the language you’re experiencing isn’t your own. We’ve added an extra layer to the discussion that permits you to step into the language of your host and share that with an awesome community of fellow foodies and travelers.

2. Combining food with language is such an awesome idea! What makes language learning plus food such a different idea?

Experiential education is the future of learning. We learn to express our very first preferences of food texture and cuisine as children experimenting with taste and experience. The combination of food and language is a perfect one because it draws on our desire to connect meaningfully with people while putting our sense of taste, scent, and sight to the test. We’re re-imagining an experience we all share and inviting our friends to experience the adventure along with us.

3. Let’s hear about the food and chef! Pozole? What is Diana’s relationship with food?

Diana’s passion for food sparked during her participation in the culinary arts program at Gallery 37 as a young adult. She was involved with several food events during college but it was studying abroad and traveling that helped her develop her vision for food. She strives to weave a social justice component to her cooking by using fair trade, local and organic ingredients and raise consciousness about the world by fusing other cultures in her cooking while using her Mexican roots as her foundation. Diana has held workshops on the importance of conscious eating at nonprofits and churches and assisted with the opening of Green Tomato Café in North Lawndale.

Diana is making pozole for this dinner because pozole is a dish that encompasses so much of Mexico with the different spices, chiles, and the ingredients that go into it. It’s also her favorite dish!

4. This is a collaboration between several people- what drew you all together?

The most important aspect of this collaboration is our desire to build community. All 3 individuals/ our various projects ultimately want to share space, food, culture, language, and skills with other folks in enjoyable space. Harish I Patel who works at Accelerate Change sent out invitation to his friends at Mobile Language School / Mckensie Mack and Diana Arellano to participate in this project. We have already seen many language schools that involve “experiential learning” for language by taking their students to restaurants or cafe to simulate a real life experience. We also already see many folks sharing meals and talking about ideas and skills. We thought — why not bring this two together and create Home: Food Meets Language! We think that eating food in a person’s home will not only allow for safe space for our guests to learn and practice a new language, but also allows them a much more holistic and memorable experience.

5. What can guests expect from this and future events?

Guests can expect supportive community, exciting experiences, and great food. You definitely won’t feel like you’re learning and more like you’re dining with fellow travelers abroad. Each experience is a unique one, because every culture encompasses perspectives and cultural mixes and traditions that occupies it’s own gastronomic/cultural space. That means we have an indefinite amount of space to explore various regions and perspectives through food and language. We’ll hear stories, we’ll learn from one another, we’ll eat, and laugh a ton. And that’s the beauty of an experience like this- is taking a step into the unknown, purchasing a ticket without the expensive flight tag, and putting ourselves out there to learn something new that we didn’t know going into it. On April 29th, you’ll knock at the door and we’ll be there to welcome you home.

Don’t miss this chance to brush up on your español & enjoy pozole. Sign up for next event!