Cari Sanchez-Potter and Sabeen Perwaiz have partnered with Edible Northeast Florida magazine to bring you VICARIOUS Kitchen, an immersive culinary adventure where local cooks from different cultural backgrounds teach intimate cooking classes in private homes around Jacksonville. The workshops offer an opportunity to share the rich cultural diversity of Jacksonville and learn about the many people and cuisines that make up the fabric of our region's culinary identity.
Join us on this culinary cultural exchange!
We are busy putting together details for 2017 VICARIOUS Kitchen workshops! Please sign up for our newsletter to receive notifications about future workshops in the series.
Puerto Rican Holiday Fare workshop with Leslie Rios Wilkins and Cari Sanchez-Potter.
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ABOUT VICARIOUS KITCHEN
A meal provides a unique lens into life in a foreign world. It teaches us about customs and traditions while also humanizing our experience of another culture. Food is a universal language.
Travel has always been a love of mine because it allows me to experience the world from unique perspectives. This past Christmas, my husband and I took a trip to Colombia and decided to take our first foreign cooking class in Cartagena. What an experience! We learned so much about the country and its people through that one class. When a local taught us how to stuff and bake fish, she gave me more than just a recipe. She told me a story. She told me how her mother taught her to cook, and how she taught her own daughter. During that class, she gave us a glimpse of her life and where she comes from. I left having learned many new things, yet more resolute than ever that, in the most important of ways, people are more alike than different.
Still, I confess that the class was also a means to satisfy my constant craving for delicious cuisine from around the world. When I first moved to Jacksonville I didn’t think that would be possible, but I soon realized that there were so many choices, right under my nose.
I sometimes wonder: do most residents of Jacksonville know how diverse their city is? That its residents hail from all over the world? As of 2011, the number of foreign-born residents accounted for nearly a third of the city’s population growth. Duval County also resettles a large refugee population, behind only Tampa and Miami in the state of Florida. This richness of culture, and abundance of opportunity, is my inspiration behind our cooking workshops.
Our designation as the largest city by land mass can often be a challenge in that many of us never fully explore the areas outside of our own neighborhoods. Vicarious Kitchen would like to change that by introducing you to foreign cuisine prepared by local residents of diverse backgrounds in Jacksonville.
Food plays a crucial role in forging links between a broad range of cultures. Our cooking workshops will not only introduce you to the delicious cuisine of the world, but also to the wonderfully different people who make it, every day – right here at home.
Sabeen and I share a love of travel. For me, the best part about visiting new places is seeking out unique local experiences and especially learning about different cultures through food. This passion led me to Australia to pursue a degree in gastronomy, where I studied global food cultures and learned that food is one of the greatest bridges between people.
Now that I’m getting older, it’s not as easy to pack my entire life into a backpack and take off on new travel adventures. Instead, I’ve focused my efforts on being a culinary explorer right here in Northeast Florida. When I feel a need to feed my sense of wanderlust, I find myself reaching for a cookbook that focuses on a global cuisine, putting together a shopping list and visiting one of our many local markets that specializes in international foods. I never tire of browsing the aisles, and it fulfills my sense of adventure to pick up an unknown ingredient to explore in my kitchen.
I’m excited that Vicarious Kitchen will provide an opportunity to celebrate the many people and cuisines that make up Northeast Florida’s diverse and dynamic food culture. My hope is that the workshops teach us not only about new ingredients and dishes, but also about ourselves, our city and our neighbors.