Eating (with) the other: Staging hope and trouble through culinary conviviality

Oona Morrow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Communal cooking and eating initiatives have taken up the age-old practices of commensality and conviviality for the purpose of spurring social change and inclusion. In this chapter, I examine two community cooking initiatives that seek to valorise the culinary heritage and foodways of migrants in New York City and Berlin. In New York City, the “League of Kitchens” places a special emphasis on valorising the skills of immigrant women by staging paid in-home cooking workshops. In Berlin, "Über den Tellerrand” offers paid workshops and community cooking events that provide a setting for refugees and asylum seekers to share their food culture with locals. In different ways, these community food initiatives use food knowledge, cooking, and eating to address the troubles of xenophobia. The relative success of these initiatives depends on the emotional and performative labour of cooks who stage authenticity and identity and on the desires of an affluent group of consumers and food enthusiasts who are willing to pay a premium for these experiences. This chapter examines how cooks and eaters within these initiatives navigate the power asymmetries of this transaction in their shared desire for transformative culinary encounters.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunity Food Initiatives
Subtitle of host publicationA Critical Reparative Approach
EditorsO. Morrow, E. Veen, S. Wahlen
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781000891959
ISBN (Print)9781032049021
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2023


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