Innovation That Matters

Social enterprise employs immigrants to teach cooking classes and culture

Nonprofit & Social Cause

Culture Kitchen in San Francisco connects local food lovers to immigrant women, to learn to cook authentic, ethnic cuisine from the “experts”.

As celebrity chefs and cooking at home have been come popular over recent years, a new market of budding amateur foodies has emerged. While apps and blogs can share professional and personal tips to create international dishes, Culture Kitchen in San Francisco goes a step further by connecting local food lovers to immigrant women who teach them to cook authentic, ethnic cuisine as well as sharing their cultural background. Culture Kitchen was founded by designers Abby Sturges and Jennifer López, and is a social enterprise that aims to “create a forum for culinary and cultural exchange, showing that much more than food gets made in the kitchen”. Sturges and López employ immigrant women, who are the masters of cooking their families’ dishes, to teach those meals to a group of food lovers, while sharing stories about the recipes and their culture. So far there are seven traditional cuisines represented, including Mexican, Thai and Ukrainian. The classes — which cost USD 40-60 each and are held at the San Francisco Whole Foods Culinary Center — invite participants to feel as though they are in their grandmother’s kitchen, where they can choose to what level they participate, before sitting down to eat together. In the video below, founders Abby and Jennifer explain why they created Culture Kitchen. Is there an appetite for a similar model to encourage culinary and cultural exchange in your area? Spotted by: Murtaza Patel



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