Ana Estrela – Special Mention

Ana Estrela, a Brazilian-born former dancer and choreography assistant for several Afro-Brazilian dance groups, founded the Origins Cultural Association in Bari, Italy to promote Brazilian culture through various artistic and culinary events. Through her work at Origins, Ana came to recognise the power of gastronomy to generate common spaces where people from different cultures can come together through food. This recognition, alongside her passion for helping refugees who are too often marginalised, led her to create Ethnic Cook. Founded in 2013 and run exclusively by women, Ethnic Cook is a space where female immigrant chefs of fifteen different nationalities come together to build cultural bridges by sharing recipes from their countries of origin with the people of Italy. Ethnic Cook provides culinary training, encourages female entrepreneurship, and stimulates cultural understanding. These amateur chefs create extraordinary themed dinners and provide an overview of the culinary history of each country for events including private parties and coffee breaks, in addition to running cooking classes for local children.