Community development, Social inclusion

Griot Kitchen

the recipes of dialogue


Who is behind this?

Association Ce.F.A.S. - Training center and high specialization


Who is joining forces?

Rinascita social cooperative


GustaMente Puglia


Slow Food Lecce



Idea pitch

The project aims to help refugees and asylum seekers on their journey to employment and independence and promote their integration. We will organize cooking classes led by migrant chefs who struggle to integrate and enter the world of work due to legal and language barriers. Our team and specialists will accompany our chefs on a journey from "passionate home cooks" to "confident cooking teachers" guiding them to financial autonomy and integration into the local community.

Where will your project idea take place?

Carmiano, south Italy

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Migration is not an emergency but a characteristic of our century. Apulia region and in particular Salento have always been one of the main landing places for migrants,they have been a land of migrations for over a century.An Arabic saying says "you don't really know a person until you eat with them".Recognizing the strong interconnection between food/migration and food/culture,the project acts by promoting dialogue and encounter through the "language of food".The project activates intercultural dialogue and social inclusion through food as an element of sociality,a point of contact between people of various nationalities.Food has entered into many popular sayings,it is part of our human dimension:it is sociability,culture,a vehicle for integration and social and economic development

Who are you doing it for?

Griot Kitchen will work with asylum seekers,refugees,long-term migrants(direct beneficiaries).Language barriers present many difficulties and make it difficult to find a job for them.Being unable to provide for yourself and your families has significant negative effects on self-esteem and mental health.Without basic Italian,they have difficulty accessing support and interacting meaningfully with the host community.This in turn can create fear and distrust among the host population,increase tension and further hinder integration.Other target will be the women of the local community invited to "teach" first and then "exchange knowledge" with the migrants involved in the project. Through them we will involve husbands and children in social dinners or paid events(indirect beneficiaries)

How do you plan to get there?

After the migrants have been identified by the project partners we will start Training.Our Team and Specialists will accompany them on a journey from "passionate home cooks" to "confident cookery teachers".In the first session we will carry out workshops on Italian language,leadership,well-being and building of the trust and then in the second half we will practice teaching each other our kitchens while acquiring professional skills for catering.At the end of the workshop we will have lunch together.A second session,with a more amateur and inclusive character,indeed we would like to involve the women of our local community who want to teach tricks and recipes of our traditional cuisine to the migrants.In this way you will have a mutually beneficial relationship in which our future chefs will acquire typical culinary skills that can be spent when they go to work in local restaurants,in our school o Cafè in the Park and instead the local ladies will enjoy moments of company,conviviality and culinary knowledge exchange.The result it will be culinary contamination on the one hand and social integration on the other.Last step consists in the start of cookery classes,catering and paid events managed by migrants so that they can become financially autonomous.Two of them will also be permanently placed in the take-away ready meal production workshop that we are opening in the country

What are the expected results?

The development of local social capital is directly linked to the logic adopted for the entire co-production project that leads to the development of an open relationship between the actors:migrants,professionals and members of the local community who intervene to transfer skills(eg the elderly ladies) or use the service(eg those who subscribe to the cookery classes).The members of the local community will be involved in the planning and delivery of culinary training moments for migrants. Relationships will consist of reciprocity and trust.Relationships consisting of reciprocity and trust will arise.The generative power of this type of relationship will be to empower the person through the relationship.The project will therefore have produced relational goods

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

The activities are designed to question misconceptions, create intercultural dialogue: we will do this, apparently through a cooking class led by a migrant, by bringing people from different backgrounds together and challenging stereotypes: the refugee leads the class and the environment intimate allows personal stories to emerge.With this laboratory we want to "put together",create connections,aiming at the need to become a culinary manufacture,capable of activating real participation processes,offering refugees real working relationships and opportunities for unconventional education.We want to offer a“DO IT YOURSELF” gym to learn how to use your head and your hands and to build your own autonomy:because it is by thinking with your own hands that you can make your thoughts clearer

Why is this idea important to you?

Our mission is to empower and celebrate refugees and vulnerable migrants in their journey towards integration by supporting them to manage their own cooking lessons.The project is in line with the immigration plan 2016-2020 of the Apulia Region where,among others,specific integration and social mediation actions are envisaged in paths of active and direct participation in the social,economic and cultural life of the territory.The main team is made up of Fabrizio Chetrì,welfare community manager with many years of experience in specific projects for the integration of migrants;Danilo Manta,professional educator,photographer and community animator;Nama Traore and Deme Bakary,intercultural mediators;Paola Vergine,educator and L2 teacher,Francesca Favia project manager

€ 34540,-

Total budget

€ 34540,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Operating and management expenses
(eg teaching material and consumer goods):1000
Personnel costs:14340
Capital goods strictly connected to the project activities

(kitchen and catering equipment implementation):11000

Services and supplies strictly connected to the project activities

(Perishable raw materials (food) for training activities and for conducting cookery classes):5000

Communication and public relations
(promotional material, TV services, newspapers, events, etc.):3200

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to receive feedback on similar experiences in other countries or how our project could collaborate with other European experiences to consolidate inclusive and democratic networks. Finally, we welcome advice to implement the design idea



Chiara Cordella



Idea created on March 30, 2021
Last edit on April 7, 2021

Write comment