A few weeks ago, I participated in a bake sale in support of the ACLU (we raised $6,500 in 4 hours!) One of my favorite cookies at the sale had signs next to it that read “This is what democracy tastes like” and “These cookies would be crap without the contribution of other cultures.” Word. People from other countries contribute so much to the fabric of our society – economically, culturally, culinarily, and beyond. Recently, in the fallout from the travel ban Executive Order, many people (including myself!) are looking for new ways to support refugees… but I’ve had no idea where to start or how. Well, good news – it’s easy as of today. A new Kickstarter project, launched this morning, helps refugees AND makes America a more delicious place. Win-win.
Eating Offbeat, a catering company based in NYC, finds refugees who are passionate home cooks and trains them to be professional chefs. Their Kickstarter campaign is funding a cookbook that will be written by refugees telling their stories and sharing their previously secret, hand-me-down recipes. You read that right MANY OF THESE RECIPES HAVE NEVER BEEN WRITTEN DOWN BEFORE. The cookbook will feature 80 recipes, representing at least 20 chefs, hailing from 15 different countries. To give you an idea of the kinds of people Eating Offbeat are working with and training, meet Dhuha:
Guys, this will be more than just a cookbook – it’ll be our travel guide and amazing, offbeat culinary tour around the world. Previously secret recipes from places like Nepal, Tibet, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ivory Coast, Algeria and Venezuela (just to name a few!) will be at our fingertips! We won’t need to watch Bourdain in envy as he chows down on some delicious, impossible-to0-find dish as he galavants around the globe – we’ll just be able to cook it at home ourselves! If the cookbook alone wasn’t reason enough to get involved, 10% of proceeds will go to the International Rescue Committee (and all remaining profits from the campaign will be invested in hiring and training more refugees at Eating Offbeat).
So if you want to help refugees, please chip in at their Kickstarter campaign for this book. AND if you’re having a dinner party and need to get it catered, consider hiring Eat Offbeat! Your dinner party will surely be different from all the others and one to remember, AND you’ll be doing a great thing 🙂 AKA Having your cake and eating it too (literally).