In this blog post, Associate Producer Elaine Williamson, reflects on a busy Refugee Week and adapting the successful Global Kitchen format into an engaging digital event.
As part of Refugee Week 2020, we hosted a live cook-a-long event online as part of our Global Kitchen programme; a global dining experience in your own home!
For those that don't know, Global Kitchen is a collaborative project between Soft Touch Arts and Journeys Festival International Leicester that began in 2018. It welcomes sanctuary seekers from across Leicester to train in Soft Touch Arts’ Kitchen with chef Linton Magume, who is originally from Zimbabwe.
Using recipes gathered from sanctuary seekers across the city, the project aims to connect communities through food and conversation, and bring skills and stories associated with recipes from participants' home countries.
Learning to respond and adapt to the challenges facing any arts organisation during the coronavirus outbreak has been an incredible learning curve, but the commitment and generosity of all those we work with on the Global Kitchen project has made the launch of our first online cook-a-long a joy to produce.
We're still hoping that our pre-Coronavirus plans of physically hosting community dinners for people to meet and conversations around food and stories from home can flow, but our first foray into an online cook-a-long were a great success! We owe a great deal to Linton and Christina at Soft Touch Arts, for having the faith in us to move to an online programme, and it's exciting to now look forward to making the event bigger and better for our main Festival in October. The ideas are already flowing - it's just a case of what to choose!
So do make sure to join us in October for more beautiful bespoke recipe cards from the brilliant illustrator, Emma Dibben, more mouthwatering foods from across the globe, and of course, the opportunity to join in with a community of foodies and supporters of our sanctuary seeking communities to celebrate how uplifting and nourishing a delicious meal can be in good (online!) company.
Global Kitchen will return as part of this year's Journeys Festival International, taking place 28 September - 18 October. You can find out more about #GlobalKitchen here including some beautifully illustrated recipe cards from this year and extra cards from 2019's events.