Exhibition highlights cultural, culinary fabric of Balochistan.

ISLAMABAD -- Fatima Hamid, founder of Gallery 8B2, hosted the opening of 'Food for Thought', a collaborative art and book exhibition by visual artist, Anjum Alix Noon, and author Nilofer Afridi Qazi.

Nilofer began her food mapping journey with the 'Pakistan on a Plate' YouTube series, collecting and preserving Pakistan's culinary heritage.

Speaking on the occasion, Nilofer Afridi Qazi said: 'Covid forced me to stop filming and start thinking about what I have been arguing, that without documentation our oral histories will disappear. So it was incumbent on me to capture what I have filmed in a book.'

'Culinary Tales from Balochistan' is her first book, written about the culinary traditions of the province tracing the origins, evolution and recipes of the staple food items integral to the cultural and culinary fabric of various communities living there, interspersed with anecdotes, history and folklore.

Nilofer's ancestral home is in Pishin, as her father, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, says, 'Nilofer's relationship with Balochistan comes from me, it is her paternal home. Normally, I go to Pishin two or three times a year but I haven't been well for the past couple of years while she has been there several times.'

The collaboration with Anjum was a result of a conversation between the two friends.

Nilofer said: 'Those of you who have seen Pakistan on a Plate would know that Anjum is the first chef in the Khanpur episode. She has been with me since the inception of the journey'.

Anjum said: 'Nino's book is a source of great inspiration. I have read it cover to cover and it has given me tons of ideas and reasons to continue this work. There is an underlying reality of Balochistan that I have discovered because of the book, since I have never been to Balochistan.'

Using a combination of mediums such as linocut, stencils, acrylic paints and aquarelleon paper, canvas and wasli in small to large formats, Anjum has created 50 pieces reflecting on the realities of Balochistan.

Nilofer also worked with Chef Ammar Mumtaz, founder of Burning Brownie, Sugar Rush, Quatro Uno, amongst others, to create modern delicacies using ancient, indigenous ingredients from Balochistan.

The two ingredients he chose to showcase were wild pistachio beans called Shney and pressure dried dates called Kaji...

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