By Pete Freeman
Fellow Wagnerd, Ryan Brown (Class of ’12), and I have started an organization called Global Kitchen along with current Steinhardt Food Studies student, Leah Selim. Global Kitchen (GlobalKitchenNY.com) is a social enterprise born out of a love for food, culture, stories, and shared meals. All these elements are brought together in our immigrant-led cooking classes, which celebrate our chef instructors’ culture, passion for food, and traditional recipes. All our instructors run their own food businesses, so classes are a great opportunity for them to gain valuable marketing exposure for their businesses.
The ability to bring people together, united through food, fosters genuine dialogue and storytelling. Our instructors’ stories about growing up in their native country, the cultural significance behind the dishes, and the origin of ingredients all come together to form an interactive and meaningful experience unlike any ordinary cooking class. This evening of rich storytelling is almost like travelling to another country without the jetlag!
Our next class will be held Friday, November 30th at 7:30 pm at Dun-Well Doughnuts off the L train in Brooklyn (DunWellDoughnuts.com/). The class will be led by Veda Sukhu, who will be preparing Guyanese curry, homemade roti, and a tasty traditional Guyanese snack. This demonstration style class is highly interactive with ample opportunity for you to try your hand at making roti. Don’t miss out! Tickets, which include a full meal, can be purchased for $45 here. In addition, the class is BYOB so feel free to bring some wine or beer.
We’ve had some great experiences with Global Kitchen thus far. After raising nearly $8k from our crowdfunding campaign we were able to launch our first public class which featured Egyptian koshary, hummus and tabbouleh salad from one of our instructors, Ragab Rashwan. See our Facebook page for pictures! Class attendees relished the occasion to help prepare the sauce, pound garlic, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the finished product. Each class concludes by sharing the meal cooked that evening with fellow class participants and the instructor. This was our favorite part of the class- listening to Ragab’s stories of growing up in Egypt, chatting with one another, and enjoying delicious food (along with some wine of course!).
We also did a pilot class in May, where we saw the beginning of a transformation in our chef instructor, Veda. This was her first time leading a cooking class, and beforehand she was a bit nervous. But as soon as she began preparing vegetables for the curry, the switch flipped on, and she was as comfortable as merely chatting around her kitchen counter. For Veda to see that she has knowledge and skills that are highly valued made quite a rewarding experience for her. Afterwards, she had this to say: “Seeing everyone enjoying the food we prepared gives me great pleasure…Thanks a million for this opportunity.”
Given your interest in IPSA, it seems safe to assume you share our love for new food and different cultures. There are a number of ways you can get involved with Global Kitchen. We are actively looking for more dynamic chef instructors from any culture who are looking to grow their own food business (e.g. food truck, selling in local markets, catering). One can never have enough great recipes, so send any great authentic ethnic ones you come across to info@GlobalKitchenNY.com. Like us on Facebook, subscribe to our newsletter (http://eepurl.com/qcquX), and visit our website (GlobalKitchenNY.com/). Finally, if you are interested in engaging with our quickly growing team or would like more information, send me an email at pjf267@nyu.