When Halifax chef Luis Clavel wants comfort food, it’s usually his mom’s pupusas he’s craving. The traditional Salvadoran dish is “like a flapjack stuffed with cheese and then pan-fried,” he explains.
Clavel—the chef at Shuck Seafood + Raw Bar— was born in Puerto Rico and raised in El Salvador and Guatamala before immigrating to Nova Scotia in his pre-teen years, meaning his knowledge of Latin American cuisine began around the dinner table.
This familiarity made him a natural choice for the first of a new series of dinners at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market. Called The Table, these meals feature a set menu created by a chef and an immigrant, reflecting the food of the immigrant’s native region. The result is an intimate setting exploring the diversity of a particular cuisine.
The first event, happening tomorrow will be Clavel and his mother, his “favourite cook in the city.” They’ll be crafting dishes from all over Latin America—including those well-loved pupusas.
“We love the name The Table because we’re welcoming people to sit down at the table with us and learn about the people we have in our community,” explains Julie Chaisson, the Seaport Farmers’ Market executive director. “We’re a little bit spoiled in that we get to see this [diversity] every weekend and eat this incredible food,” she says about the Seaport market. “We wanted to share that.” To her, dinners like Clavel’s give the average Haligonian an opportunity to “connect with a different part of the world.” Chaisson’s goal for The Table dinners is simple: Drawing the community together.
“One of the things we all connect through is food, different food,” she explains. After all, as Clavel says, “food is the universal language.”
The Table: Latin American Night at the Market
Seaport Farmers’ Market, 1209 Marginal Road
Thu, May 19, 6:30-9pm