The Mohyeddin Family’s Radical Restaurant Mission.

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04/18/2022

If Samira Mohyeddin had grown up in Iran, she would be a different person. She would not be able to sing or dance in public, or leave her hair uncovered. Certainly, she would have to hide the fact that she is gay. “If I was caught with another woman, under Sharia law, I would be killed.” As it is, Mohyeddin is a journalist, and radio and TV personality, instantly recognizable on the streets of Toronto with her shock of unruly silver hair and bright red lipstick. She is an affable guest on morning show cooking segments, where she can be seen encouraging the buttoned-up hosts to eat her mutton stew. On her popular CBC radio show, Unforked, she “picks apart the food we eat to reveal the culture and politics baked into it.” You can tune in to hear her interviewing food historian and author Michael Twitty one day, or investigating the vilification of MSG the next. Mohyeddin is also a restaurateur who uses her restaurant, Banu, as a tool for her activism — helping refugees from Iran’s oppressive regime and educating her local community about Iranian food, history, and culture.

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