In Focus | Culinary Diplomacy

Culinary diplomacy is “a way to better understand each other through our food and our traditions,” says Lauren Bernstein, former Director of the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership program at the U.S. Department of State. It’s the ultimate in soft diplomacy, but lest you think “soft” means ineffective, consider what happened when her program sent an American chef to Pakistan to learn about its food. The four-part mini-series with a Pakistani chief was watched by millions of television viewers. “This was the first time the embassy was able to reach that enormous number of people with a positive American message,” Bernstein says. Here she talks with Erinn Tucker, Ph.D., Faculty Director for the Georgetown master’s program in Global Hospitality Leadership, about the importance of reaching out to, and learning from, other cultures.

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