Multicultural Community Kitchen Program offers cultural sharing through food
This new program was created in 2016 by the Whistler Multicultural Network to showcase the food and culture of local immigrants and to build connections and understanding across cultures. The program was supported by a Community Grant from the Community Foundation of Whistler.
Over the past year the program offered 6 sessions and proved very popular. The Multicultural Community Kitchens were organized by volunteers, many of whom are immigrants. Participants plan, prepare and eat together. The kitchen sessions featured Venezuelan, Chilean, Mexican, Slovak, Japanese, and Czech. Participants had the opportunity to learn life and workplace skills such as cooking, as well as Food Safe, First Aid, nutrition and canning.
Several long term Whistler residents attended the community kitchens and were amazed by the value immigrants bring to the community. They learned about their cultures, food and made valuable connections. For the first time, the Whistler Multicultural Network offered multicultural food at the annual Whistler Multicultural Festival where Whistler residents could try 3 multicultural meals nowhere else to be found in town.
‘I enjoy the community kitchen program very much. Is one of the programs that unite all nationalities and cultures the most, learning different things from each country and enjoying the company of wonderful and the most genuine people. I personally love learning recipes from other countries and Canada. Every time I've been able to, I've always really enjoyed going to each of the meetings.’ -program particpant.
As a result of this program immigrants and the wider community of Whistler have a greater understanding and appreciation of the diverse cultures represented in Whistler.
The Whistler Multicutural Network will continue the program and hopes to create a recipe book and create broader community engagement.