Take a seat at the table and explore the world.
We learned a long time ago that one of the best ways to understand and experience the cultures of the world is through their food. We’ve also learned that building trust requires respect and that an easy way to show respect is to taste absolutely everything and fall in love with the traditional foods that people in the places where we work have been preparing and eating for generations.
More and more these days, we’re also using food as a tool in our engagements. Sometimes it’s as simple as talking through personnel issues over dishes that require sharing. Occasionally, we’ve designed mystery box cooking challenges (like on Food Network’s TV show, Chopped) as a team-building activity.
In many parts of the world, particularly in conflict areas, we’re most known for our epic “Breaking Bread—Breaking Barriers Dinner.” These events are part assessment, part team-building, part conflict-resolution, and always a delicious feast!
Ahead of a convening, we invite participants to find and bring an old family recipe. We collect those recipes, compile the ingredients, and then we go shopping! The day before the dinner, we let folks know they will be preparing that old recipe to share with everyone else. Panic ensues.
Partnering with what we always find to be amazing kitchen staff, these dishes become collaborative efforts. In Kosovo, young Albanians, Ashkali, Bosniaks, Egyptians, Roma, Serbs, and Turks from across the country discovered a shared heritage through the dishes they prepared. Distrust and old fears faded as these young people found common ground in the kitchen. It’s hard to explain just how powerful these events have been in bringing people together. Then again, if you’ve ever prepared or shared a meal with family, you get the idea.
We promise: We will exceed your expectations.
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