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Blackness and food matters 

Chef Tunde Wey is launching a dinner series titled "Blackness in America" in March.

  The Nigerian-born chef, who until recently operated the Lagos stall at St. Roch Market, is hosting a string of collaborative dinners exploring black identity in America.

  "The objective of the dinner is to create a space where folks can talk about blackness and black identity," Wey says. "The idea is to host a dinner that is a collaboration between myself and a guest, whose life and work represent a unique perspective on blackness."

  The series will be held on Mondays in March at Shank Charcuterie (2352 St. Claude Ave., 504-218-5281;

  The five-course Nigerian meal ($45) features fried plantains, pepper soup, roasted cassava balls and grilled whole snapper. Wey says the menu may change slightly from event to event.

  Guest speakers include filmmaker Zac Manuel (Mar. 7); Rashida Govan (Mar. 14), executive director of Project Butterfly; CAC Director Neil Barclay (Mar. 21); and local food activist Jenga Mwendo (Mar. 28). Each collaborator contributes a theme for informal discussion during and after the meal.

  There also will be an event in Detroit on April 6.

  Wey says he plans to open a freestanding local restaurant focusing on Nigerian cuisine.

  For more information or to reserve tickets, visit

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