Gastrodiplomacy is on the rise, and I, for one, want in on it.
People tend to be more positively inclined towards a country after eating its food. As this issue of Public Diplomacy suggests, this has encouraged many countries to intentionally spread their country’s cuisine as part of the cultural outreach practiced by their embassies and consulates. More recently, the first academic course on this form of conducting foreign relations has been offered at American University
Beyond cultural outreach to support traditional diplomacy, another form of gastrodiplomacy focuses on peacemaking and other conflict engagement methods.
Peace Meal Kitchen in Detroit is a pop-up restaurant in Detroit. It is “dedicated to educating diners on regions that are either misrepresented by the U.S. media or are struggling with political conflict” through serving food from those regions.
Conflict Kitchen, in Pittsburgh, serves from countries with which the United States is in conflict. These have included Iran, Cuba and North Korea, amongst others.
Home Café operates in the buffer zone between northern and southern Cyprus, also known as the Turkish and Greek areas, respectively. It serves a meeting point for people from both groups, serves food from both cultural kitchens, and hosts performances by duos of bands, one from each side.
Know of any other conflict-engagement focused gastrodiplomacy venues?