Every recipe has a story. One woman thought more of these stories need to be heard.
In 2015, that woman, Manal Kahi, teamed up with her brother to launch Eat Offbeat, a catering company built around finding refugees that are home chefs and training them to be professional chefs. Since its debut, over 20 chefs from 15 different countries -- Venezuela to Nepal to the Ivory Coast -- have brought 80 recipes to the table. Now, "Eat Offbeat: The Cookbook" will bring these recipes and their stories to your kitchen.
Because it turns out, the world wanted these recipes too. Last week, the cookbook’s Kickstarter goal of $50,000 was met, in just 10 days, thanks to donors from over 32 countries. Inspired by global generosity, Eat Offbeat has recently upped their goal to $100,000 noting in the campaign that the more money they raise, the more chefs they can hire to be a part of the cookbook.
“Since we started, part of our mission has been to change the narrative around refugees,” Kahi, a New Yorker originally from Lebanon, told Grub Street. “What better way to change the narrative than to write a new one?”
In partnership with the non-profit International Rescue Committee, Eat Offbeat also donates a part of all catering (and Kickstarter) proceeds to helping refugees resettle and find work opportunities.
The chefs at Eat Offbeat came from different places and spoke different languages and dialects but today the co-workers are close friends and mentors to each other. It just goes to show food is truly the universal language.