Originally called the Refugee Cooking Group, this was GSBTB’s first own project and was a close, joint effort with Berlin’s refugee community. The cooking group goes back to very humble beginnings on Oranienplatz. This Kreuzberg square was occupied by refugees in 2013 to draw attention to the appalling living conditions for refugees all over Germany, at a time when this was hardly discussed in the media. Berliners from all over met up at the square every week to cook in the tents and break down the walls created by terms like ‘refugee’.
Since then we’ve cooked at the Gerhard Hauptmann Schule – the site of refugee rights protests in 2014 – as well as in Görlitzer Park and at the Martha Gemeinde Church. We moved our weekly cooking sessions to creative co-working space Blogfabrik in 2015, just down the road from where it all began at Oranienplatz. Now, since the summer of 2017, we have a monthly meet up and other regular dates in the kitchen and café at Refugio and we’re really excited about sharing this space and the beautiful rooftop with our community.
Professional opportunities for our community
Ocassionally our group gets invited to serve up delicious international dishes at pop-up cooking events like Bite Club, United Street Food at Markthalle Neun, and has even catered at a Berliner Philharmonie event. Here we run with the big guns, dishing up delights alongside some of the city’s best-known street food vendors. In this way the Open Kitchen provides chefs with a refugee background the opportunity to lead a team of volunteers to set a menu, shop, cook and deliver delicious food to hundreds of people – an excellent opportunity for growth in their new home. In this way, several people in our community have trained to work in gastronomy, got their first work experience here in Germany in restaurants and one has even opened his own street food stall.
How do I become part of this project?
We rely on you, our wonderful partners and volunteers to help us make these events possible. You’re sure to pick up some sweet culinary knowledge along the way! Please join our Facebook group or look in our events calendar to see our upcoming events. Any questions? Email Ricarda Bochat.
Read more about some of our actions:
German Secretary for Federal Affairs Sawsan Chebli visits GSBTB Open Kitchen
GSBTB Open Kitchen collaborates with Berliner Obdachlosenhilfe
GSBTB Open Kitchen at Markthalle Neun
Syrian Anas and vegan chef Sophia Hoffman – two cooks, one potato
Bulgaria’s Bakers without Borders meets GSBTB
GSBTB Open Kitchen sells out at Bite Club