Open Kitchen

by GSBTB

The Open Kitchen is a group centred around cooking that gives newcomers, refugees and locals the opportunity to interact and break down social and cultural barriers over food and through our cooking meetings. Regardless of how long they have been living in Berlin, everyone is welcome to join. The Open Kitchen takes people out of their isolation and gives to each participant a chance to get to know new people through relaxed but purposeful activity. The idea is simple: newcomers meet up with other Berliners to cook, eat, share and hang out. Our volunteer group, which is composed of professional and amateur cooks, as well as those with no particular cooking experience, meets regularly to experience tasty recipes from all over the world.

 

What is the Open Kitchen about?

Open Kitchen aims to break down social and cultural barriers over food and create home-like spaces for people who seek interaction in a cosy environment. For those who have established themselves in Berlin, it can be a place to interact with people from other cultures and exchange ideas in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The project is a great opportunity for cooks with refugee/migrant backgrounds to lead the kitchen together with a team of volunteers and other food enthusiasts. This way they can reach a wide audience and get a feel for the gastronomy industry in Berlin. Since our start in 2013, we have cooked together and enjoyed traditional dishes from Sudan, America, Syria, India and many other places all over the world. The response has been so positive that our group has been invited, on multiple occasions, to serve food at different venues in the city like Bite Club, United Street Food at Markthalle Neun and even provided catering services for the Berliner Philharmonie.

Originally called the Refugee Cooking Group, the project was a close and joint effort with Berlin’s refugee community. The cooking group goes back to very humble beginnings on Oranienplatz. This Kreuzberg square was occupied by demonstrators 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 the group cooked at the Gerhart Hauptmann Schule – the site of refugee rights protests in 2014 – as well as in Görlitzer Park and at the Martha Gemeinde Church. The weekly cooking sessions moved to creative co-working space Blogfabrik in 2015, just down the road from where it all began at Oranienplatz. Since the summer of 2017, the Open Kitchen has been organising regular meet-ups and other events at Refugio enjoying the shared community life and the beautiful rooftop of the building. One of our longstanding, key volunteers for example is a young chef, Wilma Prior, who moved to Berlin in 2018. Wilma has become an invaluable member of the team bringing a fresh and creative approach to the kitchen, that is her own personal style.

Open Kitchen activities

The Open Kitchen offers social cooking sessions in the form of a meet-up on a regular basis. Additionally, the group joins forces with other projects of Give Something Back to Berlin when cooking can be included as an activity. The Open Kitchen also takes part in various public events and interacts with different social circles in Berlin.

Time and location of activities

Due to the increase in Covid 19 case numbers all activities of the Open Kitchen moved ONLINE as of 2 November 2020. You can email the coordinator Ricarda Bochat at ricarda.bochat@gsbtb.org and join the Facebook group (link) to follow the news and stay updated:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1630802003874623/

Get involved with the Open Kitchen!

Join our cooking group!

We meet every week and would be happy to have you join us! No prior cooking skills are required. We enjoy each other’s company and love telling about our stories and experiences when we meet.

Co-host an Open Kitchen cooking session and cook with us!

We always want to connect with friendly, passionate and patient people who would like to create a homelike environment with us. You may offer space for your group where we can come and cook together. Otherwise, if you are a professional cook and want to share a kitchen with us to prepare delicious meals we can invite you to cook for our community.

Donate to sustain our work!

We make our cooking sessions free for everyone and we are limited only by the expenses for food, kitchen utensils, and sometimes for space and transport. We appreciate all donations, big and small and you can choose a one-off donation or set up regular monthly or yearly contributions. You can donate by following the instructions on this page.

Donate food ingredients and cooking utensils!

Our cooking group shops regularly to make sure having fresh ingredients. Shall you have fresh ingredients to give away, they can be a great contribution for our cooking sessions. We also need good quality utensils that we can use for cooking for big groups. You can send/drop off donations to Give Something Back to Berlin e.V. office address: Lenaustrasse 4, 12047 Berlin

Contact

The Open Kitchen looks forward to hearing from you! Join our Facebook group and cook with us! For further questions please contact Ricarda Bochat at Ricarda.bochat@gsbtb.org

Read more about the Open Kitchen:

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

Partners

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Danke Aktion Mensh!

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Huge thanks to Booking.com for your support!

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Danke Spielfeld Digital Hub!