A Taste of International Culture and Cuisine: No Passport Required

A Taste of International Culture and Cuisine

As summer falls upon Cleveland and you venture out to satisfy your appetite for a fresh, local meal, keep Culture.CLE in mind as a colorful option. This innovative dinner series caters to Clevelanders with a desire for fresh international cuisine and a hunger for learning about foreign cultures.

A Taste of International Culture and Cuisine
Photo Credit: Caitlin Antje

Last September, founder Samantha Peddicord created the local movement as a free international monthly book club comprised of friends and acquaintances with similar interests in cultural exploration. The group shares a passion to gain better insight into various cultures by reading non-fiction, biographical, and even mystery books. Each meeting offers engaging conversation, an open educational platform for the naturally curious, and a true international experience for their palates.

Peddicord, who conducts thorough research before planning each of her featured monthly dinner series events, reaches out to local community members who are willing to educate the Cleveland diners on their culture, cuisine, recipes, and experiences while growing up in their native land.  When asked about her desire to start the dinner series, Peddicord explains, “I just want people to explore and enjoy Cleveland’s diversity.  It’s easy to get caught up in thinking that traveling is the only means to explore cultures.  But there are so many cultural outlets right here in northeast Ohio.”

Guests of the dinner series events can expect an assortment of appetizers, entrees, cooking demonstrations, recipes, and information about each food item on the menu. Festive cultural music fills the air, and, if you’re lucky, you might catch a few shared native dance moves by guests and presenters alike.

On the evening of Tuesday, June 25, the featured cooking instructor, Sahar Rizvi, owner of Cleveland Masala, will speak about her Northern Indian heritage and culture before providing a cooking demonstration. The audience is encouraged to ask questions about culture, norms, values, and experiences, as the goal is to leave with an understanding of the cultural lifestyle. The novel selected for discussion, The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri,  was released as a film in early 2007.

The concept for this unique dining experience sprouted from Peddicord’s desire to be well-informed about the myriad of cultures that enrich our world.  Her passion for diversity awareness is apparent in her academic background, experience, and volunteerism.  She has a Masters of Arts Humanities specializing in International Relations, has facilitated diversity training, and has worked with refugees in northeast Ohio.  Additionally, she has engaged in local political protest activities focused on local and national issues, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and is an avid traveler who has visited over 30 countries.

Culture.CLE is settling into their new home at Dave’s Market and Eatery on E. 61st Street.  To learn more about upcoming events, follow Culture.CLE on Facebook or email samantha@blossomcle.com to join their mailing list.

Leave the passports at home this summer, Cleveland; you won’t need them to enjoy an international evening with Culture.CLE.  Forks up!

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