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Impressions About Our Cook, Munir

by Douglas Clark

Photos by Vera Kopecky and Matt Vincent

As the photos illustrate, our head cook, Munir, is more than a cook; he is a culinary artist and teacher. Munir carved the watermelon in about 30 minutes (twice as long as usual because he was teaching Audrey Shaffer, Vera Kopecky, Ela Dubis, and Elizabeth Monterrey how to do this). No sketches on the rind in advance, just quick knife movements. The oval beneath the watermelon was carved by Elizabeth, and the flower comes from a potato, done by Audrey. The palm tree and the bird atop the melon are Munir’s creations from potatoes, carrots, and peppers. All of this during Ramadan when Munir chooses not to eat between sunrise and sunset.

Munir carving watermelon

Munir showing how its done

Audrey carving potato

Carved potato flower

Completed assemblage

Carved duck

Carved watermelon 01

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