If you asked us what items we always have in our fridge (uh, not counting that ancient jar of mustard in the back), hummus would most certainly be on the list. So when we heard that the ubiquitous chickpea-tahini concoction would be at the center of a project with one of our favorite NYC chefs, we had to investigate.
In partnership with Sabra (yes, the grocery-store staple), chef Einat Admony has temporarily transformed Kish-Kash, her West Village couscous spot, into Whirled Peas, a cross-cultural pop-up that spotlights hummus in surprising ways. Admony—who celebrates her Israeli heritage in her restaurants Balaboosta, Kish-Kash and falafel empire Taïm—is not only bringing her expertise on the region’s cuisine to the table but also collaborating with big-name guest chefs whose specialties run a little further afield.
Last month, she joined forces with Mokbar’s Esther Choi on a Korean-inspired menu, tapped Food Network regular Jet Tila for Thai flavors and brought in soul-food wizard Deborah VanTrece for genius mash-up dishes such as hummus-battered fried chicken with challah waffles. And for the final leg of the pop-up (November 15 through 24), James Beard Award winner Kwame Onwuachi will put his Afro-Caribbean spin on hummus.
In addition to showing how well hummus plays with eclectic influences, each of the menus also highlights the food’s versatility as a cooking ingredient and not just as a dip for veggies and pita. After stopping by for a hummus-centric meal, we were inspired to start experimenting with new ways to use it in our own kitchen.