* Hala V Furst+Kristin Melia *(2)
Washington, DC


Hala and Kristin met at work, but their friendship was forged over the stove.

Hala learned the special alchemy of Arabic cooking from her Palestinian grandmother, and brings that same warm spirit to her own dishes from across the globe. No matter what she's making, elements of Arabic cooking are her lodestone-whether it's her pathological inability to cook without garlic, her insistance that there's always room for one more (person at the table or stuffed grapeleaf on your plate), or her firm belief that a meal is only as good as the company with which you share it.

Kristin Melia has been an avid eater and cook since childhood. Her culinary preferences span from Burma to Brazil. Having lived in Latin American for several years, the culinary traditions of the region often pop up in the food she cooks in unexpected ways. Much of that has inspired the menu for this particular feastly event. Whether cooking Mexican or Middle Eastern, Kristin enjoys cooking big hunks of protein and humble foods that can be eaten with one’s hands. Many of us eat with our eyes, but above all else, Kristin enjoys eating with her hands.