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A Tale of Two Cities: Exploring Immigrant Foodways in London and New York City

  • Museum of Food and Drink 62 Bayard Street Brooklyn, NY, 11222 USA (map)

London and New York City, two of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, are famous for their vibrant immigrant food scenes.

Located in east London, the Brick Lane Market started as a farmers market in the 17th century by the Jewish community, and then later shaped by the influx of Bangladeshi immigrants in the 20th century. Today, the Brick Lane Market has been transformed into a uniquely diverse and concentrated area where international cuisines, art, and culture come together.

In contrast, New York City’s immigrant enclaves have never been contained to one neighborhood. From the well-documented history of the Lower East Side starting in the 1800s, to thriving immigrant neighborhoods of today in Brooklyn and Queens, immigrant cultures are spread all over the five boroughs.

Join Dina Begum and Naz Riahi as they celebrate the publication of Dina Begum’s The Brick Lane Cookbook, and compare the relationships between the immigrant experience, marketplaces, and food in these two major world cities, as well as in their own experiences. An informal reception featuring bites from the cookbook, and book signing to follow.

This program is part of our Global Cultures, Global Cuisines series.

Photo by Peter Watson.



Dina Begum is a cookbook author and writer who is passionate about highlighting the recipes and food traditions of Bangladesh. Dina is increasingly called upon to write for nationwide publications and her recipes have been featured in The Telegraph, The Herald, Huffington Post, Metro and The Scotsman, amongst other. Dina is a member of the Guild of Food Writers and her debut cookbook ‘The Brick Lane Cookbook,’ (Kitchen Press in 2018) celebrates the diverse food culture of London’s iconic Brick Lane. She has written a feature and recipes series for Great British Chefs, based on the six seasons of Bangladeshi cuisine and filmed a spice blends tutorial series for Yodomo. Dina has also hosted a popular Bangladeshi brunch pop up at Darjeeling Express to showcase home cooking favourites, as part of their #WomenInFood series and has another upcoming.



Naz is the founder and curator of Bitten, an event series that positions food as a pillar of culture and explores the space through the lens of creativity, innovation, art, justice, technology and more. She is also a writer with a memoir forthcoming.

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