Sitting down at the table.

Ceci [CHey-CHee]
Translation: Chickpea
1. A round yellowish seed, used widely as food.
2. The leguminous Old World plant (Cicer arietinum) that bears these seeds.

What is The Big Ceci?

We believe that linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to our communities and the planet is a key element of the world we want to help build.

We are creating this blog as a space where we can share knowledge, resources, and skills that preserve local food traditions, elevate our consciousness about what we eat and how we eat it, support and create our own alternatives to the unhealthy and destructive industrial food system, and indulge in the sensuality and wisdom of the culinary arts. We are excited to curate an inspiring collection of recipes, photographs, stories, articles, conversations, and other resources for those of us who are attuned to the connections between plate, planet, community, health, and culture.

So, without further ado…meet The Big Ceci Communal Table! (click for a closer look)

Thanks to Ryvka Bar Zohar, Sonny Singh, Tehila Wise, Christina Antonakos-Wallace, Molly McHenry, Ana Gordon-Loebl, Sarah Heydemann, Naomi Gordon-Loebl and Ora Wise for the generous use of these photos!

Why this blog?


  • We recognize that cooking has forged community for thousands of years and that some contemporary eating habits—the loneliness of fast food, the disconnection and distance between people and the farms/gardens their food comes from, the toxicity of the actual food being consumed—threaten to undo this achievement. And we recognize that still, people throughout the world are harvesting, cooking, gathering, and eating in both traditional and innovative ways. We want to inspire and learn from each other.
  • Even if we are not all going to be directly involved in food production and agriculture, we can be co-producers—eaters who are informed about where and how our food is produced. We can become more intentional and empowered participants in the production process through actions such as supporting local producers, eating in restaurants with ethical labor practices, learning about and recording inspiring culinary traditions…
  • Sometimes in New York City it feels like people of a certain socioeconomic status feel like they have discovered food. You know these people; they’re the ones saying, “Eureka! We’ve found this amazing thing called handmade, small-batch, fresh, artisanal…food!” And what is so ironic is that it is the people who have benefited most from the systems of global capitalism and colonialism—the systems that have destroyed so many food practices and cultures—it is those same people who are now “discovering,” or, reclaiming and rebranding, some of the very foods threatened with extinction by the industrialized food system. And while it is tragically true that in U.S. cities, most people do not have access to and cannot afford locally grown, organic, artisanal foods…these things do not belong to yuppies! Most people in the world have been eating locally grown, handmade, fresh foods for thousands of years—that’s what there was (and is) without an industrialized food system of mass production and import/export.
  • We appreciate the intentionality, passion, skill, creativity, challenge, and beauty of gourmet food.  But we do not enjoy gourmet food that is separate from a larger process of passionate, creative, beautiful community!  We are committed to delicious, inspired, exciting culinary and gastronomical experiences, and we are committed to our politics, our ethics, our communities and our planet. This blog will be a space where those commitments not only co-exist, but support, feed and build off of each other.

We hope that The Big Ceci can be a “communal table” in the blogosphere—a place to discuss, debate, share, explore, reflect, and learn together.

In that spirit, it only makes sense that we begin with some questions: what would you like to see here? What are the issues and questions that you want to discuss? What are the conversations you want to have? Are there books, articles, films, restaurants, even recipes (stay tuned for Naomi’s post, “Pop Ed Ice Cream”!) that you want to see explored here?

P.S. Want to keep up with the latest? Click the subscription link on the left side of this page, and get each new post in your inbox! Or follow us on Twitter @TheBigCeci.