Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Meridian gastrodiplomacy

I was over yesterday at the exquisite Meridian International Center to talk PD shop with its director Ambassador Stuart Holliday. As I noted my gastrodiplomacy work, Ambassador Holliday mentioned an interesting gastrodiplomacy program that Meridian conducted. Meridian hosted chefs connected to a few various embassies in DC to come cook their local fare in programs open to the community. The chefs highlighted the national produce and ingredients and how it connects to the country, as well as how the cuisine connects to the culture. The program went on for almost two years. He mentioned how the Chinese Embassy brought over five chefs to cook different regional cuisines.

Meridian’s Director of Public Programs Heather Haines further mentioned that the Meridian gastrodiplomacy exploits even ended up on the reality show Top Chef. The Top Chef show was filmed at Meridian, with Top Chef contestants drawing different country cuisines to prepare at Meridian for tastings for various diplomats, dignitaries and guests.

All great gastrodiplomacy work.   Maybe I can make Meridian the host of the first DC Gastrodiplomacy Conference....

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