KitchenConnection.org is an online community amassing chefs and lay food lovers to discuss, cook and learn about food together. With participants from over 120 countries, this platform creates a space in which chefs, home-cooks and lay food lovers can host or participate in online and offline interactive cooking classes.
This initiative is guided by 2 pillars:
1. Live in a Hunger-Free World: KitchenConnection believes that everyone should have access to healthy, nutritious food. As such, hosts of the classes (connections) can choose to donate some or all of the funds from the class to the partner charities, such as the Zero Hunger Challenge. This helps to promote KitchenConnection’s core value: “I’m Eating — You’re Eating — And Because We’re Eating Together, Someone Else is Eating, Too”.
2. Promote “Gastrodiplomacy”: In a climate of cultural misunderstandings and misrepresentations, KitchenConnection provides users the opportunity to learn about each other through an online, interactive cooking experience that creates deeper conversations. With this model in mind, we created an event that brought together Israelis and Palestinians to create a positive environment in which each country can communicate the similarities and unique differences of their cuisine to foster constructive cultural diplomacy. By promoting conversations that link two cultures, while at the same time highlighting individual qualities, KitchenConnection helps to create a richer understanding of one another.
Examples of Cultural Diplomacy
These events can take various forms or emphases. With a new country of focus every month, KitchenConnection has hosted events such Greek Month and Peru Month with support from their respective consulates. With a language focus, an event at the French Embassy gave the students the opportunity to learn French through an interactive online cooking experience with a home-cook from Algeria. This partnership will continue with home-cooks from the Francophone world.
A third theme around which events take place is ingredients. An event at the UN Church Center honored Moroccan Argan Oil as a “Spice for Peace" while a more recent event with the UNDPI featured “Ecuadorian Cacao as a Vehicle Towards Understanding” with a Model UN campus chapter streaming the session online.
For an inside look at how this platform works, take a look at footage from an event at the New York University kitchen in which attendees connected with a chef in India and a “student” in Paris to make samosas. It was filmed as part of a James Beard Special, which aired on ABC News.
To further pillar 1, KitchenConnection is working with the SDG2 Advocacy Hub and its Chef’s Manifesto to create a series of online and in-person events that put the Hub’s work into action with the Manifesto as its guiding principle. The Hub and KitchenConnection recently had a test class with host-Chef Asha Gomez guiding Chef Palmiro in Peru, Chef Arthur in the UK, and home-cook Earlene in NYC through a South Indian Red Cabbage recipe. The conversation was robust and ventured through the sourcing of ingredients to the similarities between food in Southern India and Southern United States, an example of a “farm-to- table” experience. With a partnership structured around the Manifesto, we hope to have more robust Connections like this one in the near future that advocate for information-sharing and the power that a connection has to bring about change.
Stay tuned for more SDG 2 Hub x KitchenConnection sessions coming soon! KitchenConnection is happy to connect with various communities in order to promote our shared goals. For any future collaboration, please contact us to see how we can unite to further promote cross-cultural understanding and advance Zero Hunger. To join our community, check out the KitchenConnection on social media as well as our guide for getting connected!
Want to get involved?
1. Sign up and create a profile
2. Create or join a live, online, and interactive cooking class
3. Gather your ingredients and Connect with foodies from all over the world!