Earlier this week, a study showed the power of eating together: People who chow down on similar dishes are more likely to trust and cooperate with each other. But is this bond strong enough to cross longstanding national and racial divides? A couple of French entrepreneurs may just find out.
Louis Jacquot and Sebastien Prunier, both just 29 years old, have recently started a venture called Les Cuistots Migrateurs – or The Migratory Cook – with a simple but intriguing idea: Help fight the growing prejudices against refugees in France by enlisting refugee chefs to cook and serve meals from their native countries. According to the New York Times, the duo has already put on 20 events since February with the help of chefs from six different countries: Syria, Chechnya, Iran, India, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. New chefs from Afghanistan and Tibet are already in the pipeline.
“Immigrants here are seen in a negative light, as pulling the country down, as having nothing to offer, but in fact they offer a chance to exchange cultures, to bring something positive: The cuisine of a place gives pleasure,” Prunier told the NYT. “This is part of immigration, too.”