Have cooking schools become a bit old hat? Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Abby Sturges and Jennifer Lopez (no, not the diva) certainly think so. Bored of the old routine, they’re putting a spicy spin on a tried-and-tested business idea

What is Culture Kitchen?

Culture Kitchen gives aspirant foodies ethnic cooking classes, ranging from well-known cuisines – Mexican, French, Thai and Indian – to the more obscure (think Peruvian or Colombian cuisine). Classes are taught by immigrant women from the respective ethnic communities, who also share cultural insights and stories about their countries of origin.

Who are the Culture Kitchen Master Cooks?

Instead of classes being conducted by professional chefs, the idea is to have an authentic cultural experience brought to you by the Culture Kitchen Master Cooks, and to connect the different cultures through a shared love of food.  While each of the Master Cooks is an ordinary woman, they all share an extraordinary talent for cooking their cultural dishes, for storytelling and for connecting with people. Class attendees not only become acquainted with exotic ingredients and new cooking techniques, but make a bunch of new friends in the process and leave with a new perspective on their own cultures, communities and families.

Not afraid to push culinary and cultural boundaries, Culture Kitchen showcases the cuisine and culture of some of America’s traditional foes – Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, to name a few. By discovering our commonalities, bridges can be built over old rifts and, says co-founder Lopez, understanding others helps us better understand ourselves. What other business idea can boast about that?

For more inspiration…

Don’t launch an ethnic cooking school without checking out:

Culture Kitchen
Image courtesy of Culture Kitchen