Norma y Saqib

Photo Credit Jorge Davalos

Norma Listman & Saqib Keval met in the kitchen tracing notes of ancestral recipes and community foodways. As chefs, they have committed themselves to creating unique dining experiences using food as a means to tell complex stories of food migration through beautifully curated meals. As Masala y Maiz, Norma and Saqib research the migration of spices, chiles, ingredients and cooking techniques between Mexico, South Asia and East Africa. Their menus present unique recipes and stories that explore the breadth and history of mestizaje. They are committed to using their restaurant and their access as chefs to fight for the critical social justice issues of our time and work hard to be leaders in bettering the labor conditions and quality of life for those working in the food industry. They work together in all parts of the project and have made Masala y Maiz a beautifully personal reflection of themselves, their families, and their community. 

Chefs Norma & Saqib are based out of Mexico City but travel internationally giving lectures on food politics and food migrations, hosting cooking demonstrations and pop up dinners. You can reach out to the chefs at


Chef Norma Listman

Born in Mexico, her practice as both chef and artist begin with deep investigation and research of traditional cooking methods and ingredients. Her current focus is the sustainable growth and use of nixtamal & Méxican maiz, a passion Norma inherited from her father’s life work. Norma’s bold vision for projects where art and food intersect create a historical consciousness that leaves you soul searching for a deeper understanding of who we are, what we eat and how we eat it. Norma’s culinary excellence was shaped by working at Camino in Oakland, San Francisco’s Delfina Group and Charles Phan’s restaurant group amongst others.

Chef Saqib Keval

Born in the U.S. of Indian farmers from East Africa, his food is an act of love, grounded in history, and conveyed through flavor and craft. His work as a chef, researcher and activist are reflected in his diverse menus and rich flavors. In his recipes you find traces of his people’s migration stories and flavors that make you reflect on your own. His food is a testament of the endless potential for joy and community found around the table. Saqib trained in kitchens in the south of France and, more significantly, in his grandmothers' kitchen. He started the People’s Kitchen Collective, a food, art and social justice chef’s collective to create good food spaces accessible to marginalized people.