My first post since all of our worlds got turned upsidedown because of Covid19. To be honest, the timing for a world-wide lockdown was incredibly uncanny as I decided to shift the perspective of my blog from comfort food to food exploration and curiosity, inspired by all my travels last year.
However, while we all probably look as graceful as Rachel, Chandler, and Ross trying to carry a giant couch and PIVOT!, there are so many silver linings to be shared from those who’ve handled this shift with the utmost creativity, positivity, and optimism.
Flash-back two weeks ago, no three weeks ago maybe…well flashback to a while ago, when I was scheduled to return to my old city for a new job. I was moving back to Seattle, Washington for a dream job at a boutique travel company with an incredible heart and mission to bring people closer together in the company of delicious food. Well…things have surely changed and I’m more than grateful to still be a part of their mission one way or another.
Fast forward to today, and here I am continuing to cook up a million storms in my parent’s kitchen – only this time with a laptop screen in front of my Italian mise en place for a crispy pizza at seven o’clock in the morning. When I’m not busy watching chefs on screen, I get to help behind the scenes of this incredibly resourceful venture and witness all the love and hard work that goes into bringing something special to people in their homes.
The Table Less Traveled (TTLT) is a travel company who’s creative pivot has brought light into our homes and kitchens as they shifted to offering live cooking classes with chefs from around the world. Purely motivated by wanting to carry out their mission of bringing people together, building community, and continuing to support their partners and other small businesses around the world, owner Annie Cheng of The Table Less Traveled decided to launch live interactive cooking classes. Classes are offered on a pay-what-you-can basis because TTLT believes “community” should not be a limiting factor, especially in these economically difficult times. Not only that, but a contribution goes much further than you may think, as the chefs teaching the classes to receive 50% of the proceeds in order to support their livelihoods drastically impacted by the shift in the tourism and restaurant industries.
Hundreds of participants from various countries have joined chefs from Capri, the Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, and Peru in the comfort of their own homes, learning and traveling the world through their kitchens. We’ve seen Marika’s vegetable garden with a view overlooking Positano, learned so much about Caprese lemons from Domenico, and went on a mindful cooking journey with Brisa from Lima, Peru. The proceeds have already helped these chefs support their young families, give back to their communities, and connect with people who wouldn’t have otherwise had a chance to interact.
It’s a beautiful time to explore the world and discover new ways of building community even under the most unusual of circumstances. Bravo to the team and chefs at The Table Less Traveled and all those who have come along for the ride!