- Hosted by South Jersey Caribbean Cultural Organization featuring Steel Pan Performance and Workshop
- Island Delights and Differences Panel Discussion
- Food Tasting
Take a seat at the table as we discuss Becoming American.
Viewing Tastefully South Jersey Documentary
Dinner: Cultural Fare
Discussion Led by Bill Westerman
- What does it mean to be American?
- What does it mean to become American?
- What does it mean to break bread with your neighbor?
- What does your family bring to the table to make this community special?
Admission: Bring one Family Recipe.
- Eco Del Sur: Music from the Andes and Latin America
- Food Demonstrations
- Felix Pitre Storytelling
- Heritage Preservation Day: A Free Community Digitization Project
Bring in family heirlooms relating to cultural foodways traditions. Aged photos, negatives, slides, handwritten recipes, heritage cookware, ancestral linens, back-dated newspaper articles and more.
We will digitally preserve your memories and record your stories. You will take home a flash drive as a keepsake for generations to come. All families, all cultures are welcomed.
Serife Ayakta (meaning standing in honor), carries a legacy in her name from the maternal and paternal sides of her family. Her grandmother instilled in her, “Whatever happens do not lay down, get up.”
Serife grew up near Istanbul,Turkey. After an earthquake killed her mother and destroyed her home and baby furniture business, her husband’s friend urged, “Go to the United States. America has big dreams for your children.” Serife explains, “My husband and I decided to come here to see if it was okay for our children’s future.” Upon their arrival they spent time with distant relatives and friends that had previously immigrated to New York City.
Relocating to New Jersey in 2001 with their three children, Serife, began working at a daycare center. She loved the babies, but when the job would not provide the opportunity for her to travel to Santa Barbara for a week with her daughter, Serfie said, “I love the children, but I love my children too!” Her strong sense of motherhood and family values led to the decision to quit her job.
Now having an abundance of time, Serife spent more hours in the kitchen cooking Turkish food that she could find in America, but wasn’t nearly as delicious as the traditional food she enjoyed in her home country. Turkish-Americans got wind of Serife’s home cooking and offered to buy her Turkish cuisine. Serife’s most popular dish, manti, consisted of small dumplings that she distinctly shaped into stars. She filled the signature dish with beef, or spinach and feta cheese or mushrooms. Realizing that her small operation could become something greater, Serife called the owners of several Turkish restaurants in New York. They were more than happy to buy her manti.
Needing a larger space to grow her business, Serife rented a storefront in Delran where a “small Turkish village” exists. Serife said, “A lot of Turkish women at that time didn’t have a car and could not speak English. I wanted to give them the opportunity to get out of the house and come to work. My mother always taught me to help others.” Together, the women worked to uphold the tradition of Turkish cooking in America while sharing memories and stories from their native land and new home in America. It wasn’t long before the business expanded from shipping the manti to customers into a restaurant of its own. Star Manti is named after the dish that fostered the success of the business. Other dishes are titled after different cities from Serife’s childhood and life experiences in Turkey, such as, “Gorali, that’s named after where I went to high school. After school we would eat hot dogs and Turkish potato salad at my favorite restaurant.” Serife’s pride lights up the entire space at Star Manti when she shares her story and talks about her children’s college successes, careers, family life and their desire to carry forth Turkish traditions. She affirms, “We did a good job because we came here and we started the new life.”
The napkin notes of gratitude shared on the walls at Star Manti tell even more of Serife’s story. Come meet Serife and experience her exquisite cuisine this Saturday, July 28 at Taste of Poland and Turkey 10:00- 2:00 p.m., 30 Irvin Avenue at the Tastefully South Jersey Exhibition.
The exhibit is an exploration into folk art and culture through the lens of food traditions in New Jersey and features cultural artisans, fine artists and artifacts centered around foodways such as recipes, cookbooks, paintings, photographs and integrated with food tasting, dance, music, and storytelling performances. The event is free and open to the public.
For more information visit our please visit Website.
- Interpretive Tour of Exhibit
- Tastefully South Jersey Presentation
- Food Tasting
An exploration of food traditions from Caribbean, Eastern European, West African, African-American Southern and Latino cultures and how they are sustained in our communities.
Featuring documentary of tradition keepers, artifacts, photography, visual art and interactive exhibits.
Opening Reception – July 12, 2018 – 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Interpretive Tour of Exhibit, Tastefully South Jersey Presentation, Food Tasting
Taste of West Africa and African-American Soul – July 14 – 10:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble, Food Demonstrations, Soul Line Dancing with
I am Kenny J, Broomcorn Doll Making Workshop with Alma May (Limited, registration required)
Taste of Poland and Turkey – July 28 – 10:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Monique Legare International Folk Dance Performance and Workshop, Food Tasting, Tea-for All Demonstration, Turkish Lace-making Workshop (Limited, registration required)
Taste of Mexico and Peru – August 18 – 10:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Eco Del Sur: Music from the Andes and Latin America, Food Demonstrations, Heritage
Becoming American: It’s not a Melting Pot… It’s Pot Luck – August 23 – 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Take a seat at our community table to discuss and celebrate America’s immigrant fortune
and delight in cultural food fare (Free, RSVP Required)
Taste of the Caribbean – August 25 – 10:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Hosted by South Jersey Caribbean Cultural Organization featuring Steel Pan Performance and Workshop, Island Delights and Differences Panel Discussion, Food Tasting, SocaFitness
Elizabet Aguilar – Mexican
Ylvia Anatolia Asal – Turkish
Serife Ayakta – Turkish
Loona Cadely-Jeanty – Haitian
Anna Felcyn – Polish
Esther Giple – Liberian
Katherine Inez Guadalupe – St. Lucian
Jonathan Jernigan – International
Sherma Joyce – Trinadadian
Nana Kittoe Manful – Ghananian
Corrine B. Powers – African American Soul
Travara Tilghman – African American Soul
Perkins Center’s Lawn Chair Concert Series returns to Collingswood with a live outdoor concert featuring CPR: Music Invincible. Established in 2015, CamdenpopRock will present a wondrously eclectic fusion of modern, classical and international music and performance art. CamdenpopRock will perform on the corner of Haddon and Woodlawn Avenues, next to Grooveground Coffeebar (647 Haddon Ave).
This free performance is part of Perkins Center for the Arts’ annual Lawn Chair Concert Series with a partnership from the Borough of Collingswood and presented by the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey with additional support from Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation and PNC Arts Alive.
This concert is part of 2nd Saturday in Collingswood which invites guests to plan a night on the town to experience the unique arts, music, shopping and dining Collingswood is known for. As always, Second Saturdays are free and there are local artists and musicians on each block. Just arrive & enjoy the culture. Information on 2nd Saturday for artists, musicians and visitors is here.
Join us, as we radically change minds and hearts at transformative, uncensored adult storytelling concerts.
The Butterfly is a FREE community storytelling concert held the 4th Tuesday of each month at our Collingswood location.
Storytelling is the first art form. From its inception on the continent of Africa, storytelling has been steeped in communal ethos. It is an amalgamated event of teller and audience. It teaches lessons, empowers voice and maintains societal values. It makes us laugh, cry, gasp, hold on and release — It connects.
May 22: Magic and Miracles (blessings of the unknown, cultural magicians, saving grace)
June 26: Sink or Swim (beach stories, new adventures, stepping out with courage)
For more information about our Folklife Center & The Butterfly please click here.
If you would like to participate as a teller, please Submit to Tell Here.