Award-winning chef Raul Medina, owner and culinary creative behind Oakland-based pop-up Taqueria La Venganza, recently announced the release of ‘Ammamak (Let’s Eat) On Stolen Land, an “anti-Thanksgiving” magazine featuring plant-based recipes from San Francisco Bay Area-based chefs. Made in collaboration with Lion Dance Cafe, Bare Knuckle Pizza, Homo La Flor, Ginger Bakes, recipe developer Michelle Nazzal, and Tacos Oscar, the collection features recipes that aim to “represent the culturally diverse experience in America and the conflict that is Thanksgiving.” All sales proceeds will directly benefit Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, a Bay Area land trust spearheaded by urban Indigenous women facilitating the return of Indigenous land to Indigenous people.
“In Oakland, there’s this big sense of community, even the city recognizes that it’s on stolen land—it’s on Ohlone land,” Raul Medina told VegNews. “The community tends to bring this up constantly, you hear it everywhere, ‘This is Ohlone land.’ And then comes Thanksgiving and there’s a gloss-over.”
A celebration of multiculturalism, the magazine moves away from traditional Thanksgiving recipes and features family recipes from each chef, including persimmon salsa from Oscar Michel of Tacos Oscar, vegan shrimp toast from Viet Nguyen of Bare Knuckle Pizza, and Palestinian-inspired vegan food from Michelle Nazzal. More than a collection of recipes, the magazine also provides insight into the personal histories behind each dish.
Included in the magazine are coloring and activity pages to help teach kids of the colonial roots and history behind the Thanksgiving holiday. “This project is by Black, Idigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) but not just for BIPOC, it’s for everyone. This is what we have evolved Thanksgiving into,” Medina said. Despite the magazine’s focus on diverse, multicultural recipes, Medina emphasizes the collection’s bottom line: we are celebrating on stolen land.
“When you choose to be vegan, you’re already choosing to think about things differently and challenge what you’ve been told. And I think that’s exactly what we need to do as a country with Thanksgiving,” Amy Nowak of Ginger Bakes told VegNews. “If we can’t proudly tell the truth about our country and how this holiday came to be, do we deserve to celebrate it? The stuff we see on television and in cookbooks and magazines is not the reality for a lot of families in this country. Not to mention our vast population of immigrants, who have no connections to the holiday and create their own traditions. And yet, every year, we hear about the same set of recipes that are catering to a very specific type of family. I think we’re doing ourselves a disservice, especially in the food world, by not acknowledging this.”
Available in both print and digital formats, the collection of recipes can be purchased online for $10 and $5, respectively. Sold out within three hours of launch, print copies will be made available with future printings under the new name Give Thanks On Stolen Land to respect the sacred, spoken-only language of Chochenyo used in the original printing.