The TV documentary series Peace Kitchens tells stories from parts of the world that are marked by conflicts. Cooking is the starting point of these stories which shed light on the daily life and social history behind today’s regional political conflicts in a caring-ironic way.
The series‘ pilot “San Sebasti.n – Kitchen of dignity“, produced for the ORF, is completed and points out the narrative style: The series focuses on strong personalities. Heroes of everyday life who contribute to their region’s culture and society in an unconventional way.
Each Episode of the TV-Series focusses on a specific element that is connected to cooking and the background of the regional conflict:
- In the Basque country, the so called gastronomic societies were one of the few remaining places where the Basques could defend their cultural identity during the Franco period. Today the region’s cuisine is one of the best in the world.
- In Northern Ireland, the „Good Friday Agreement“ would never have been signed, if the negotiators had not gotten anything decent to eat. One of the then negotiators, Gerry Adams, put together a cookbook with the dishes that were served during the negotiations.
- In Colombia, celebrity chef Juan Manuel Barrientos launched a reconciliation project inviting former FARC guerrilla fighters and disabled soldiers to cook side by side. With his foundation he wants to help build a dialogue between long-time enemies. By cooking together.
The elements of cooking and food manage to create a sense of closeness to the protagonists, but do so without being voyeuristic. The protagonists’ biographies become the basis of a historic and cultural review of the regional conflicts. The local way of cooking also offers opportunities to explore a region and its typical ingredients.
Defying all conflicts and crises:
The series Peace Kitchens uses rich images to tell humorous and optimistic cultural stories about people who don’t let anything get them down.