Courtesy of Cornetta Lane

A Kickstarter campaign is underway to fund the fusion of storytelling and supper.

Clara Olshansky
October 04, 2017

Think of a meal you've had that's connected to a happy memory—maybe it's a family recipe you're going to hand down to your children someday, maybe it's a favorite dish from your childhood, or maybe it's something you tried during a life-changing vacation. Whatever it is, there's probably a story behind it. That's where Dinner for 30 comes in. Dinner for 30 is a storytelling event coming to Detroit in February, where cooks will share their fondest food-related memories while giving a cooking demonstration of how to make that meal.

The project was created by Cornetta Lane, a Detroit storyteller who is also behind the Pedal to Porch project, a biking initiative that brought neighbors together through biking and conversation. She planned Dinner for 30 as a way to use storytelling to "bridge gaps, teach lessons, inspire action, illustrate commonalities, preserve history, impart wisdom, restore spirits, activate the imagination, and infuse hope," according to the Kickstarter page. The idea is to bring people from a range of backgrounds together by way of everyone's shared interest in, and emotional connection to food.

You don't need to be in Detroit in February to enjoy the recipes and stories from Dinner for 30. If you pledge $25, you can receive a copy of the cookbook, which will include the five Dinner for 30 recipes (one from each of the five live events) and access to the YouTube channel where you can watch the stories behind the meals. If you are going to be in Detroit in February, $45 will buy you a ticket to one of the events and a cookbook, and $85 will buy you two tickets and two cookbooks. Other rewards include private conversations with the cooks, storytelling lessons, and cooking lessons. At the highest end, if you pledge $5,500, Cornetta Lane will come to your city and host a Dinner for 30 there.

Pledge away—so far, the project has only made about 5% of its $8,500 goal. There are 45 days to go, though, so, if you think it's an appetizing idea, there's plenty of time to contribute.