Airbnb Experiences has introduced a new category of bookable experiences that will “unlock the hidden culinary traditions of families all around the world”, adding to the existing Adventure and Animals categories on the platform.
The Cooking on Airbnb Experiences, which offers guests access to 3,000 unique recipes across over 75 countries globally, not only presents a new way for guests to understand culture through food, but is also an avenue for them to form human connections, Airbnb said in a statement.
Hosted by families, farmers, pastry cooks and more, local hosts can now highlight the deeper meaning behind the food they eat, teaching traditional recipes and sharing stories in intimate settings around the world, it added.
To protect the personal nature of each recipe, each experience has been vetted against guidelines inspired by Slow Food, a grassroots organisation whose mission is to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, according to Airbnb.
Through this vetting process, Airbnb said that it has verified that each host of an Airbnb Experience “communicates the unique essence of every dish through their personal stories and has proven (to have) a deep knowledge of the heritage of the cuisine that they share”.
“Ever since the very first guests travelled with Airbnb, we have realised that sharing a meal is the key that unlocks culture and fosters connection. Through Airbnb Cooking Experiences, we want to bring back the tradition of people coming together to make and share meals, and through this, help preserve unique recipes that are shared within family kitchens around the world,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s CEO and co-founder.
Building on its partnership with Airbnb, Slow Food will also be introducing 15 special Airbnb Cooking Experiences, including Walk Cook & Eat in the Amalfi Coast and Let’s Rescue Food in Cartagena, Colombia.
Cooking on Airbnb Experiences boasts renowned hosts such as British TV presenter and culinary entrepreneur Prue Leith, Mexican chef Enrique Olvera, and Singaporean culinary icon and MasterChef judge Damian D’Silva.
Other highlighted experiences in this new category include a maize workshop with Enrique Olvera in Mexico City; traditional Uzbek home-cooking in Brooklyn, New York; French pastry making in Paris; and soba noodle making in a traditional home in Tokyo.
To celebrate the launch of Airbnb Cooking Experiences, the company is running a campaign calling on eligible Airbnb users to apply or nominate their favourite home cook via airbnb.com/cooking. Applications are open till December 23, 2019.
The top 100 applicants will be flown to Italy where they will learn to refine their family recipe and cement their legacy in an Airbnb cookbook, planned for 2020. They will get to study alongside experts, including Momofuku chef and founder David Chang and his mom, Sherri, during a course at Slow Food’s University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Northern Italy.