Migrant Kitchens is a project about tradition, immigration, storytelling, and empowerment
through recipes. Its purpose is to honor the cooking traditions of immigrants and acknowledge the value of people who kept their traditions and helped shape the culture of the places where they now live.
The reason our project is “migrant,” is because it is constantly moving and evolving, and it is
“kitchens” because the uniqueness of each particular home and recipe is a gift to all us.
The goal of each Migrant Kitchens project is to interview immigrants living in certain area about their journey and to create a documentary about their experiences with the immigration process, and how food and cooking fit into their new lives. In addition to this, each person interviewed will share his or her knowledge in the kitchen.
To interested groups we offer a toolkit free of cost and our support so that they can create their own Migrant Kitchens project. Our pedagogy is based on the idea that everyone is important in a team; different perspectives are important, and knowledge comes from different places. We aim to create a collection (library) of recipes from different immigrant groups in the world.
These are key concepts to understand our project:
Empowerment. Immigrants are sometimes not aware of how valuable their skills are and how culturally impactful is their simple act of keeping their native recipes alive. Being contacted, cooking for the cameras, and being interviewed about their lives is an empowering process. We hope to empower immigrant families and first-generation descendants to share the diversity and beauty they have with their communities at large.
Immigration. Migrant Kitchens focuses on the joys and sorrows of the immigrant´s journey. Even though the reasons for the journey can be different, the transition and emotions for each individual are complex and immeasurable. Personal narratives are a sensitive matter but we will only understand our neighbors if we know their stories.
Storytelling. Sharing stories will allow us as a society to learn about ourselves and it is a powerful tool to understand change and improve as human beings. Sharing traditions is a positive way to teach and share culture with people from different backgrounds and is key to creating a community where diversity and solidarity are indispensable.
Home Cooking. Increase awareness of the cultural and culinary traditions of diaspora
communities and immigrant groups in different parts of the world. Even though we all like to eat, we are losing some of the family values and not teaching younger generations the value of home cooking. In addition, some people are interested in the traditions of a different culture and want to learn the “secrets” from the experts: outstanding home cooks.
Tradition. The power of family narratives and community knowledge is not always recognizable. This project values the cooks, house kitchen, personal stories, and traditions that nourish our lives. Focusing on personal stories allows us to understand history, tradition, and change at the same time.