Graduate School USA’s Culinary Diplomacy Project Commended, Department of State Program Brought 25 International Culinary Experts to U.S.

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Graduate School USA has completed its nearly month-long program, “Culinary Diplomacy: Promoting Cultural Understanding Through Food,” with rave reviews from participants hailing from 25 different countries.

Graduate School USA Hosts International Visitors for Culinary Diplomacy Project

Although we come from different cultures and have different tongues -- taste is our common language.

Graduate School USA has completed its nearly month-long program, “Culinary Diplomacy: Promoting Cultural Understanding Through Food,” with rave reviews from participants hailing from 25 different countries. These members of culinary, education and journalism communities met in the United States from September 6-28 for the opportunity to explore the role of food in bringing people of varied backgrounds together.

“We had people from Brazil to Madagascar to Vietnam, all with one thing in common – a desire to understand the importance of culinary diplomacy,” said Thea Richard, Program Manager of the International Institute at Graduate School USA. “Graduate School USA’s International Institute was thrilled to host this important group.”

Participants spent time in New York, Washington, and San Francisco, as well as in small towns in Illinois and Nebraska. They met with chefs, farmers and culinary experts to learn about the farm-to-table movement, sustainable farming practices, food tourism and culinary youth initiatives. Many shared their thoughts on the program:

"Although we come from different cultures and have different tongues–taste is our common language" - Ms. Ekaterina Opokina, Correspondent, Business FM Radio, Russia

"Engaging and training youth is how the U.S. and the world will solve their problems, and I believe that as chefs, we can do this". - Mr. Gerald Dobson, Chair, Wolvedans Foundation, Namibia

"We face problems that chefs can solve, problems of bad food culture, lifestyle, and obesity. We must ask, 'What can we do about this?'" - Mr. Chadi Zeitouni, Host, “Al-Mustaqbal Daily Cook” Television Show, Lebanon

The program was developed as a result of a Concept Paper Contest, held by the Department of State's Office of International Visitors (OIV), won by Graduate School USA. This contest was an opportunity for the national programming agencies to suggest a project for the OIV to sponsor.

About the International Visitors Learning Program (IVLP)
The International Visitor Leadership Program(IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Launched in 1940, the IVLP is a professional exchange program that seeks to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign leaders. These visits reflect the International Visitors’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States.

About Graduate School USA’s International Institute
Graduate School USA’s International Institute, founded in 1961, provides overseas government and non-government organizations with insightful and culturally sensitive seminars and special services. The International Visitor Leadership Program and the Pacific and Virgin Islands Training Initiative are examples of the Institute’s international exchange and professional development programs. More information can be found here. And more on other Graduate School USA programs can be found at http://www.graduateschool.edu.

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