Dining for peace: A taste of the Philippines at Conflict Café

London, UK: Annual pop-up restaurant, Conflict Café, is returning to the UK capital on International Peace Day, 21 September – this time celebrating food from the Philippines.

Londoners will experience a one-of-a-kind Filipino salu-salo, typically a gathering of friends and family for a feast, with a three-course sharing meal created by Anglo-Filipino chef Mark Corbyn of London supperclub, The Adobros.

The Conflict Café communal dining concept, created by NGO International Alert, is an interactive experience of peacebuilding through food. In the past six years, diners have been able to enjoy traditional dishes from Syria to Sri Lanka and other countries affected by conflict around the world.

The Philippines is making headlines for its current administration’s brutal war on drugs. Peace and prosperity continue to be destabilized by ethnic, political and economic violence from decades of conflict with Muslim and communist rebellions, and more recently, extremism, as demonstrated by the 2017 violence in Marawi City. One glimmer of hope is the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which grants wider autonomy and self-rule to Muslim Mindanao in the South and is crucial for ending the conflict in the region.

Filipinos remain hopeful despite the struggles. They do this best through sharing a meal with each other. Eating together is also central to the warm-hearted hospitality that Filipinos are globally known for.

“For Filipinos, food has always been a way of bringing people together to share stories, talk about any topic – even the most difficult ones, and creatively explore ways to navigate issues,” said Nikki de la Rosa, International Alert Philippines’s Country Manager. “By eating together at Conflict Café, diners not only experience the rich culture and cuisine of the Philippines, but also hear stories of people who are leading change in their communities.”

In the Philippines, International Alert works directly with people affected by conflict to examine its root causes and brings people from across the divides in dialogue to look for solutions. The UK-based NGO has developed a conflict monitoring system that helps government, business, and civil society to plan and implement programmes that mitigate conflict. It also mediates clan feuds over access to natural resources, and political protests, among other issues. Programmes harnessing women’s and young people’s energies to participate in community projects, businesses,and local governance, especially those most vulnerable to the influence of armed groups are also run.

Conflict Café is part of the Talking Peace Festival, a one-day festival highlighting creative ways to build and maintain peace from NGOs International Alert, Saferworld, Peace Direct, Conciliation Resources and Mercy Corps.

Money raised through Conflict Café Philippines goes towards supporting International Alert’s work building peace in the region.

Conflict Café Philippines is run in partnership with Eatwith and supported by Flat Iron Square.

Notes for editors

Date: 21 September 2019 (7pm)

Tickets: £48, available online at www.eatwith.com/@conflict-cafe

Venue: Flat Iron Square, 64 Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU

Press pack: http://bit.ly/ConflictCafe2019_press

International Alert: International Alert is a leading peacebuilding organisation that works with people directly affected by conflict to build lasting peace, working in over 20 countries and territories around the world, including in the Philippines. www.international-alert.org. International Alert established pop up restaurant Conflict Café in 2014, celebrating the power of food to break down barriers and get people talking. www.conflictcafe.org

Eatwith: Eatwith is the world’s largest community for extraordinary food experiences in over 130 countries. From a one off pop-up restaurant in a hidden London Museum, to an Italian family feast in Rome or even a cooking class in Tokyo. We connect hand-picked local hosts with locals and travellers looking for immersive experiences. Whether they’re home-cooks or Michelin-starred chefs, our hosts all share one special ingredient: a passion for bringing people together through food. www.eatwith.com

Media enquiries

For media inquiries, and to arrange interviews, contact:

Niki Psarias: conflictcafe@international-alert.org
Julia Karlysheva: jkarlysheva@international-alert.org; +44 (0)7775 756288