Food Stories aims to:

  1. Promote cross-cultural understanding through the exchange of stories around food and culinary heritage, particularly those relating to migrant and refugee groups in three cities – London, Coventry and Bradford.
  2. Build capacity among community leaders and activists by sharing knowledge about the innovative ways in which food, food stories and culinary heritage can foster cross-cultural dialogue, especially in social contexts where tensions exist about migrants and refugees.
  3. Demonstrate the capacity for food and culinary heritage to foster cross-cultural dialogue outside of SOOP’s current audience in London by actively engaging with new publics in Bradford and Coventry, as well as with harder-to reach audiences in London.
  4. Share practical skills and cultural knowledge from an earlier AHRC Care for the Future project, Consuming Authenticities, to support the public engagement activities of SOOP.

To this end the project will:

1. Host cookery workshops in the three cities to create a space for cross-cultural dialogue and understanding that will:

  • Engage a cross section of communities to share the social benefits of food and culinary heritage
  • Challenge negative attitudes towards refugee and migrant communities
  • Encourage migrant groups to reflect upon and value their culinary heritage
  • Give community leaders and activists tools by which they can replicate and mobilise culinary heritage to help enhance community relations
  • Provide culinary heritage stories and images for the SOOP cookbook.

2. Publish a cookbook that will:

  • Effectively capture the work of SOOP’s current culinary training programme work and supper club series through the use of recipes and stories centred around the food and its wider culinary heritage, as well as the impact of SOOP’s programme work on participants and the local communities of which they are part
  • Be an engaging, dynamic and accessible resource that can be used by project participants, community groups, activists, and the food industry to highlight the positive role food can play in fostering understandings of migrant communities.

3. Launch the cookbook through café-style seminars that will:

  • Transfer the amalgamation of knowledge from SOOP’s activities, and both Consuming Authenticity and Food Stories projects, in regards to the role that food and culinary heritage can play in fostering cross-cultural understandings and challenging negative perceptions of migrants
  • Provide an informal and experiential public engagement forum through which a range of participants can share knowledges about and reflect upon the value of culinary heritage and its diversity.