Innovation Meets Culinary Diplomacy at Meridian

On April 22, 2014, Meridian hosted a roundtable discussion on Innovations and Advancements in Food Security, Delivery & Sustainability. The Honorable Jonathan Shrier, U.S. Special Representative for Global Food Security, chaired the off-the-record conversation, which included a group of chefs, restaurateurs, culinary trainers, gourmet food specialists and culinary show hosts from Oman, Algeria, Morocco and Egypt, as part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).

Diverse sectors working on food issues both globally and domestically came together to discuss what their respective organizations are doing to be innovative — not just in terms of technology, but also through public-private partnerships and awareness campaigns. Advocacy organizations such as Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and World Central Kitchen, policy makers like Bread for the World Institute, as well as organizations working with the DC community - including DC Central Kitchen and Brainfood - shared ideas on what’s working. “Speed dating” pairing farmers and chefs as hosted by Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture; Farmers Restaurant Group sharing information about their entrée’s origins in their menus, and CARE’s recent Peruvian trip with noted DC chefs to highlight sustainable agriculture were just a few of the fresh ideas discussed. Likewise, a course at American University on “Conflict and Cuisine,” as well as a blog from the NPR Science Desk (“The Salt”) dedicated to what we eat and why we eat it are further examples of the increasing relevancy of food and culinary diplomacy.

Project summary

Innovation Meets Culinary Diplomacy at Meridian | April 2014
Number of Attendees: 24
Regions: Near East and North Africa, Africa
Countries: Oman, Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt
Impact Areas: Civic Engagement, Food Security, Global Health
Program Areas: Global Leadership, Diplomatic Engagement
Partners: NGOs