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Culinary Diplomacy: Chefs as Diplomats

If sharing a meal is an intimate way to bring people together, sharing culinary practices on TV might just do the same for nations.

The "Culinary Diplomacy" episode of In Focus, a YouTube series produced by Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies, features an interview with Lauren Bernstein, Founder & CEO of the Culinary Diplomacy Project, a nonprofit that builds domestic U.S. platforms for food and culture knowledge gained abroad during diplomatic missions.

Bernstein highlights one mission in particular, in which the U.S. State Department's Diplomatic Culinary Partnership Program sent a female American chef to Pakistan to meet and engage with Pakistani celebrity chef, Chef Shai. The two traveled to different markets and kitchens, exchanging their respective culinary practices along the way. The exchange highlighted female empowerment and engaging youth with healthy nutrition and food entrepreneurship, ultimately airing in a four-part miniseries on Pakistan's popular food network, Masala TV.

Bernstein noted that the exchange "showcased this learning experience for our [American] chef, but also really gave an opportunity for the people [of Pakistan] to learn a little bit about American culture through our food and our traditions."

Watch the full video interview here.

 

In Focus | Culinary Diplomacy

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