When Mana Heshmati isn't working as an engineer, she's cooking traditional Iranian food through her "low-profit" Peace Meal Kitchen, a pop-up dining series based in Detroit.

It's a way to expose diners to her Iranian heritage and dispel misconceptions about the often misunderstood country.

She held her first pop-up in April to the delight of fans who ranged from the city's die-hard foodies to Iranian nationals who were craving a taste of home. Her dinners mostly feature traditional Persian cuisine, but she's also delved into other misrepresented regions, such as an Palestinian/Israeli event last fall.

But a mission that started as a culinary cultural exchange has shifted in the wake of President Trump's executive order barring travel from seven Muslim-majority nations.

"With the election," she says, "[the dinner series] is transforming into a platform to positively impact the community."   > > > > 

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