League of Kitchens in the Press

League of Kitchens on Late Night with Stephen Colbert

Watch Stephen Colbert Cook with the League of Kitchens

"We are all descended from immigrants, so we should be able to find common ground that we don't immediately build a wall around. And that's the goal of an organization I found out about called the League of Kitchens. They help bridge cultures by offering culinary workshops with immigrants from all over the world, and I love the idea of being exposed to immigrant cuisine, because my whole life I've only eaten American food like Taco Bell and Panda Express."

"So you can go cook with grandmas in New York City through League of Kitchens and learn about their culture and their cuisine."

The Village Voice
November 2015
by Alanna Schubach

With League of Kitchens, Learn Home Cooking from Immigrants Around the World

"The lessons are immersive: cooks invite students into their homes for afternoon workshops, in which they share lunch and then prepare multi-course dinners together. Along the way, participants master recipes and techniques they may not otherwise have encountered, as well as learn about markets where they can pick up authentic, quality ingredients."

Read the full story

The Sporkful
November 2015
by Dan Pashman

A Very Trini Punjabi Diwali

"Whether you live in New York or you’re coming for a visit and want a truly unique experience, this is unlike any other cooking class you’ll ever take. "

Listen to the full story

Business Insider
October 2015
by Lyanne Alfaro

I spent my day cooking and eating with a group of total strangers, and I already want to go back

"I spent the day with Rinaldi and four other strangers talking about Argentinian food, tango, and the best place to buy housemade chorizo in Queens. Here's why I want to go back..."

Read the full story

The Greene Space
October 2015

Watch: Shopping and Cooking in New York’s Little Argentina

"One of the best ways to learn someone's native cuisine is to actually step into their kitchen. So...we teamed up with The League of Kitchens, a New York City-based, cross-cultural cooking school taught in the home kitchens of immigrant cooks.

Mirta Rinaldi... learned about food and the importance of sharing it with good company from her grandmother — a cook for a local family-owned hotel. ...Rinaldi gave us a shopping tour in Queens' "Little Argentina" and shared her recipe for authentic Argentinian short ribs and chimichurri sauce."

Read the piece and watch the segment

The Chew
October 2015

Delicious Foods You’ve Never Tasted

"The most authentic travel experiences are also the hardest to come by, but today, thanks to a unique new culinary program called the League of Kitchens, I got to go into the kitchen of an Afghan woman and eat exactly the food she would’ve made for me if I’d been sitting in her home in Kabul - and I only had to travel 35 minutes by train."

Watch the segment

New York Times Magazine
October 2015
by Francis Lam

East by West Indies

"She showed us other Trini kitchen moves: rubbing raw goat with ground cloves, then rinsing it with lemon and water to wash off its gamy taste; puréeing shado beni, parsley and scallions with water to make ‘‘green seasoning,’’ a killer flavor base, even if it sounds like a juice-bar nightmare; griddling roti flatbreads and then whacking the bejesus out of them with paddles to break open their flakes for maximal curry absorption. (The roti is called ‘‘buss-up shut.’’ It means ‘‘busted-up shirt.’’ Everything about it is amazing.)"

Read the full story

Thrillist
October 2015
by Meg Cotner

The Queens Bucket List: 31 Things To Do Before You Die

"The League of Kitchens offers the opportunity to experience the vast cultural diversity of Queens (130 languages are spoken here!) through the lens of food. It produces classes by immigrants in their own homes, with hands-on participation. Learn how to make food from another culture from someone who’s lived it all their life."

Read the full story

Food.com
September 2015
by Rachel Signer

Meet the League of Kitchens

"Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone from another country show you how to make their great grandmother’s recipe for authentic ethnic cuisine? Cue The League of Kitchens, an immersive culinary adventure where immigrants teach intimate cooking workshops from their homes."

Read the full story

Gothamist
August 2015
by Rachel Signer

The 12 Best Cooking & Tasting Classes in NYC

"These workshops are about much more than knife skills or learning classic French sauces; they are for people who want stories, culture, and authentic, unguarded interchange alongside instruction."

Read the full story

Today
July 2015
by Rebecca Davis

Unique Cooking School Fosters Cultural Learning (Deliciously)

"Ever wanted to learn to cook authentic Korean, Afghan, Lebanese, Greek, Trinidadian, Bangladeshi, Indian or Argentine food? Then you need to check out the League of Kitchens."

Watch the full video

Hyperallergic
July 2015
by Allison Meier

A Social Practice Cooking Experience in the Homes of NYC

"Each of the workshops, whether it involves making yogurt and hummus from scratch with Jeanette of Lebanon in Bay Ridge or marinating and stewing goat shoulder with Dolly of Trinidad in her outdoor kitchen in South Ozone Park, is an immersion in the global food traditions thriving in the city’s homes."

Read the full story

Thomson Reuters Foundation
June 2015
by Leslie Gevirtz

New York 'League of Kitchens' gives immigrant cooks cash, confidence

"The League of Kitchens initiative solves at least two problems: It provides talented, immigrant home cooks with cash and New York foodies with a chance to do more than just sit in the kitchen and listen to stories of the old country."

Read the full story

Slate
May 2015
by David Plotz

Political Gabfest: The “Bags and Bags and More Bags of Cash” Edition

"League of Kitchens... is probably the greatest thing that's ever been created in the world. If you are in New York, and you don't do this, you are an idiot...We had a meal with Nawida, who's an Afghan refugee who made it to the US through just an extraordinary series of circumstances that make you say 'god bless America, we're the greatest country on earth.' ...The intimacy of it, the connection you make with a human being, the connection you make with the other people in the class, the way you get to learn homecoming of a culture, the hands-on-ness of it, and really just deep human connection you can make with somebody who's come to the United States and made a life for herself - is out of this world...I really hope that it gets franchised elsewhere in the country because it's such a tremendously good idea. It is quite different from any cooking class I've ever done, and it's so, miles better."

Listen to the full recording at Slate.com

Slate
May 2015
by Hanna Rosin

DoubleX Gabfest: The Thou Shalt Cruise Edition

"[League of Kitchens]...You're just like "god bless America" that such a woman...makes her way here and then teaches this little cooking class in her little kitchen in Queens. And the food was amazing, and she was amazing - it was just like one of my favorite experiences ever...If you live [in New York], and you are into food, or even not into food, it's a fun experience and you should do it."

Listen to the full recording at Slate.com

Eating Well
March 2015
by Debbie Koenig

"The school aims to restore the kind of time-honored, from-scratch cooking that can be rare in American kitchens, and to offer opportunity and respect to older immigrant women."

CBS New York
March 2015

League Of Kitchens Teaches International Home Cooking

"From a dream to a reality, one woman has cooked up an international idea with local results that will have any foodie salivating. “The League of Kitchens is an immersive culinary adventure where people go into the homes of immigrants, who are amazing home cooks, and they do intimate cooking workshops with the instructor,” Lisa Gross, founder of The League of Kitchens, told CBS2’s Diane Macedo."

Watch the full video at CBS New York.

Time Out NY
February 2015

Cross-culture Kitchen

"The best chefs in the city aren’t always found in Michelin-starred restaurants--in fact, they could be your neighbors. The League of Kitchens offers immersive group cooking classes in the homes of experienced household chefs hailing from Korea, Lebanon, Trinidad and beyond. You’ll learn to make an authentic meal before breaking bread with your host and the other participants. Don’t be nervous--we’ve got your the answers to all your questions right here."

The Splendid Table
February 2015

Now You Can Learn to Cook from Someone Else’s Grandmother

"While living on her own for the first time, Lisa Gross had a fantasy: Wouldn't it be amazing if you could learn to cook in the home kitchens of people from all over the world? She turned her fantasy into a reality by founding The League of Kitchens, a series of workshops with immigrants who share culture, stories and recipes."

Listen to the full recording at Splendid Table

MSNBC
January 2015

American Business: Melting Pot: Capitalizing on the Experience of Immigrants

"It’s a Saturday afternoon in Kew Gardens, New York, and four eager students are traveling to Queens for an afternoon of immersive study in a new culture, cuisine, and neighborhood. If this doesn’t look like a typical cooking class, it’s because this isn’t your ordinary cooking school."

Watch the full video at MSNC.

AM New York
January 2015

NYC Supper Clubs Less Exclusive Thanks to Social Media

"Learn how to make Indian, Korean, Bangladeshi, Lebanese, Trinidadian, Argentinean, Afghani or Greek food from people who grew up eating the cuisine themselves in this cooking workshop series. Each class is led by an immigrant instructor, who will teach two to three dishes, followed by a meal. The eight home cooks host two workshops per month on the weekends for upwards of five students, from Bay Ridge to Bayside."

Read the full story at amny.com

Saveur
December 2014

Saveur 100: Get Homeschooled

"The best way to learn someone's native cuisine is to step into his or her kitchen. And several cross-cultural cooking organizations let you do just that. The New York-based League of Kitchens invites small groups of curious cooks into the homes of women from all over the world for socially immersive classes in cuisines ranging from Lebanese to Bengali."

Read the full story at Saveur.com

Fast Company
November 2014

How the Internet has Changed the Way We Eat

"I think the internet and the kind of platform we can create through our website to connect interested students to our instructors makes all the difference. Being a guest in someone’s home is often the best way to learn about a new culture so I think the fact that you’re cooking within a domestic context really encourages people to want to go home and make these dishes themselves."

Watch the full video at Fast Company.com

Slate.com’s Political Gabfest
June 2014

Political Gabfest: The Jump the Fence Edition

"I want to chatter about just my favorite idea I’ve heard in a long time. It’s something called League of Kitchens. A woman named Lisa Gross in New York has started a business, I guess you would call it, in New York in which she recruits immigrant women - or not necessarily women, actually - immigrants whfo are interested in food and cooking, who are good cooks themselves that have good command of English and trains them a little bit, and has them teach cooking classes and cooking experiences in their own kitchens. So you can go to the home of an Afghani woman and she’ll cook Afghani food and will teach you how to make these great Afghani dishes and talk to you about her life and her own experiences as an immigrant."

Listen to the full recording at Slate

Marie Claire
October 2014

Genius! One Woman, One Brilliant Idea: Lisa Gross, Serving up a Taste of Home Cooking

"In February, Gross launched the New York City-based League of Kitchens - to give anyone access to a “grandmother” in the kitchen. She hires immigrant women to share family recipes and techniques in cooking classes taught in their apartments. So far, Gross’s eight instructors have taught some 200 people. One instructor named Nawida came to the U.S. as a refugee in 2010 and now teaches Afghan specialties like quabili pilau (basmati rice with lamb, carrots, pistachios, and raisins)."

Tasting Table
June 2014

The Hot 100

"Who has two thumbs and is spherifying Gatorade? You - after some serious cooking classes. Geek out this summer on four super niche cooking classes, like ChefSteps online courses that will teach you how to put xanthan gum to work or five-hour-long immersive sessions learning the nuances of Afghan and Bengali cuisine at NYC’s League of Kitchens. Ferran and your mom would be proud."

Read more at Tasting Table

Travel + Leisure
June 2014

25 Ideas for Your Best Summer Ever

"Take a break from all-American summer standards like hot dogs, pie, and barbecue to get a taste of what other countries are cooking. Thanks to the start-up school League of Kitchens, you (and four or five others) can spend a weekend afternoon learning to prepare Lebanese food with Jeanette in her Bay Ridge, Brooklyn home. Or head to Queens for Despina’s take on Greek food or Yamini’s vegetarian Indian dishes. You’ll leave with a booklet of the cook’s family recipes—and a new perspective on eating like a local."

Read the full story at Travel + Leisure

The New York Times
May 2014

What to Do in New York City in Summer 2014

by Julie Bensonen

"A D.I.Y. wind is in the air. League of Kitchens is a start-up cooking school, a collection of enthusiastic immigrants interpreting their homespun cuisines and culture from their own kitchens. Intimate workshops include Bengali Cooking With Afsari, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn... and Afghan Cooking With Nawida, in Rego Park, Queens..."

Read the full story at the New York Times

The Leonard Lopate Show
May 2014

Growing, Cooking, Eating, Learning

The Leonard Lopate Show

"Have you ever tried to cook an exotic dish like a paella or a mole only to find yourself overwhelmed by the long list of ingredients and the many steps involved? Cooking ethnic dishes can be a challenge but Lisa Gross has done something to make it a little less daunting. She’s the founder and CEO of the League of Kitchens, a program that brings a study abroad approach to cooking classes, but instead of having to go to another country, participants travel to the local kitchens of their instructors where they learn not just regional recipes but also about the culture and history of the cuisine."

Listen to the full interview at WNYC

abcnews.com
May 2014

Cooking Becomes Conduit for Cultural Discourse

by Joanna Prisco

"Following two years of intense research, fundraising, scouting potential instructors and training them to teach others, The League of Kitchens was born in March 2014...Students also get to enjoy the fruits of their labor with a full-fledged meal together serving as the finale of the course. Afterward, participants of the five-hour intensive classes ($195) are sent home with leftovers, recipes and a starter kit that includes some of the more obscure ingredients and spices to encourage future cooking."

Read the full story at abcnews.com

PureWow
May 2014

Cooking Classes in the Homes of Immigrant Chefs

"With all the warmth and patience of a favorite aunt, the instructor, Jeanette, taught us that whipping up yogurt (yes, actual yogurt) from scratch is mega-easy, that mahlab (a nutty Middle Eastern spice) goes with basically everything and that the real way to eat tabbouleh is to take a romaine leaf, rip and scoop. You may need to be rolled to the subway (between the taste testing, hummus grazing and eventual group dinner). But in addition to the heaping leftovers, you’ll leave with a few new friends, a treasure trove of recipes and even an adorable mini spice kit to get you started on your own."

Read the full story at PureWow

Wall Street Journal
April 2014

Travel on Your Stomach in Classes Taught by Immigrant Cooks: Venture to far-flung places without leaving town in a new crop of cosmopolitan cooking classes

by Beth Kracklauer

"Though I love Korean food and spend a lot of time eating in Manhattan's Koreatown, how often do I have the opportunity to sit down to a home-cooked Korean meal? That's the experience that League of Kitchens, the organization that offers this class and others like it in the homes of immigrant cooks across New York City, aims to provide… Ms. Kim was no ordinary home cook. 'We're looking for someone who has a deep knowledge of traditional cooking,' said Lisa Gross, founder and CEO of League of Kitchens… The meal was delicious—and unlike anything to be found in a restaurant. We lingered over it like old friends."

Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal

Conde Naste Traveler
March 2014

Quite Possibly the Coolest Foodie Thing to Do in New York. Whether You're a Visitor or a Local

by Billie Cohen

"We all look for good food when we're traveling. We want it to be local food, authentic food, unique food—cooked by some hidden treasure of a chef in some hidden treasure of a restaurant. That's not always easy to find, but thanks to the new League of Kitchens workshops, you can now eat local food, in a local's own home, prepared by a local… with a little help from you. The League of Kitchens is a new project from NYC artist Lisa Gross that might just be the coolest foodie thing to do in the city."

Read the full story at Conde Nast Traveler

Tasting Table
March 2014

Home Schooling: The League of Kitchens runs cooking classes like no other

by Karen Palmer

"It's one thing to take a class. It's another to see a cuisine through the eyes of an instructor who, despite having lived in NYC for more than a decade, continues to practice and perfect the dishes she grew up with. An afternoon with the League of Kitchens class is inspiring, fulfilling and filling."

Read the full story at Tasting Table

Serious Eats
March 2014

The Secrets of Immigrant Cuisines Revealed at League of Kitchens Cooking Classes

by Chris E. Crowley

"At first glance, five-and-a-half hours might seem like a long time for a cooking class. But the length is actually the class's greatest asset. League of Kitchens offers much more than a cooking class where you leave with a fuzzy understanding of a cuisine and some recipes. The small size of the classes coupled with the leisurely length makes the experience more like spending an afternoon with your friend's favorite aunt or grandmother. It's an opportunity for deeply meaningful interactions with people who you might, otherwise, only pass on the street."

Read the full story at Serious Eats

NY Daily News
March 2014

The League of Kitchens is a UN of cooking, teaching international cuisine

by Justin Rocket Silverman

"Try getting this kind of food in a restaurant. You can't. Some dishes can only be created at home — which is the idea behind the League of Kitchens, a new group that matches up talented immigrant cooks with New Yorkers eager to try, and learn how to cook, unique international dishes… Spending a Sunday afternoon in Saidhosin's apartment is a cultural learning experience that's hard to come by, even in a city as diverse as New York…Saidhosin takes an obvious pleasure in teaching how to cook her native cuisine and telling her personal stories to total strangers. By the end of the workshop, after a delicious dessert of Milky Rice Pudding, participants were hugging her and helping clean up the kitchen."

Read the full story at NY Daily News

People.com
March 2014

Steal the Latest Tinseltown Trend: Culinary School Vacations

"These intensive five-and-a-half hour N.Y.C. workshops put you straight into the home kitchen of chefs native to Korea, India, Lebanon, Greece and more. There, you’ll be immersed in that country’s cuisine — from mastering unfamiliar spices to learning about longstanding dining traditions — as you chop, slice, dice, sautee and more. Finish with a meal around a kitchen table; when you leave, you’ll feel like family."

Read the full story at People.com

The New York Times
February 2014

A Cooking Class, an Herb Book and a Special Cod

by Florence Fabricant

"Lisa Gross, an artist, teacher and Yale graduate, regrets not having learned how to cook her Korean grandmother's specialties. As she began exploring the foods of her heritage, she thought that other New Yorkers may welcome the chance to learn about ethnic cuisines from experienced immigrant cooks. So she created the League of Kitchens, which organizes cooking classes for small groups of students, taught in the homes of the instructors. It's a culinary cultural exchange without a plane ticket."

Read the full story at the New York Times

PRI's The World
February 2014

Learn authentic ethnic cuisine in an immigrant's kitchen

by Nina Porzucki

"…being inside Despina's kitchen, it’s almost like you become instant family, doing the dishes, picking up the telephone and, of course, the kitchen gossip about lazy husbands… Of course, the highlight of the afternoon was the food itself. The tiropita came out of the oven golden brown and in perfect little triangles. The cheese was not too salty; the phyllo dough was flaky… The cooking course culminates in a sit-down dinner. And as we all sat down to the food we just made together, Despina — in typical fashion — stood over us like a proud grandmother."

Read the full story at PRI's The World

Daily Candy
February 2014

Learn authentic ethnic cuisine in an immigrant's kitchen

The Weekend Guide

"Eat up the chance to cook real-deal Afghan, Korean, Bangladeshi, Lebanese, Greek, and Indian meals at intimate five-person workshops in the homes of immigrant women who serve as your instructors. Feast on the fruits of your labor, then take home a booklet filled with family recipes and a starter kit of ingredients to impress guests at future worldly dinner parties."

Read the full story at Daily Candy

Brooklyn Magazine
May 2015
by Kristin Iverson

A Mother’s Day Gift Guide for All the Mothers and Mothers-to-Be in Your Life

"Sign you and your mom up for an immersive (I’m talking multi-hour) session with the League of Kitchens, during which you’ll visit the home of and cook with one of a number of the company’s chefs. Over the course of your workshop, you’ll be fed delicious cuisine from a variety of cultures (workshops are offered in everything from Argentinian to Korean to Indian to Middle Eastern food), and learn how to cook them too. Plus, if my experience was any sort of indicator, you’ll have the chance to meet new people and literally break bread with them as you learn about where they’re from and what brought them here to New York. It’s an inimitable experience and one that would be lovely to share with your mother."

Read more at Brooklyn Magazine

Clean Plates
April 2015

Hidden Kitchens: Get Home Schooled (Literally) at a League of Kitchens Class

"The experience of being in a stranger’s home means this is an intimate cooking experience, best for those adventurous at heart. However, any lingering awkwardness is easy to gloss over when you are welcomed so warmly with green tea and personal tales. The benefit of learning next to a seasoned cook means you’ll get to pick up on those subtle but important techniques and tricks that so often get left out of written recipes."

Read more at Brooklyn Magazine

Weight Watchers Blog
May 2015

Finding my Focus

"The League’s instructors are all older women, immigrants who are particularly adept at cooking their native cuisine. They welcome small groups into their own homes, and together the group prepares and shares a meal. "

Read more at Weight Watchers

Collectively
February 2015

Now You Can Learn to Cook from Someone Else’s Grandmother

"After walking into Dolly's house, I took my shoes off and said hi to her four kids, who were lounging on the couch and playing reggaeton videos on YouTube. Just minutes later I was holding a steaming mug of fresh ginger tea and swapping stories and recipes with my new cooking classmates. The whole atmosphere cultivated a kind of warmth and casualness you don't usually encounter in a cooking class, for one main reason: most cooking classes aren't in someone's home. League of Kitchens launched in early 2014 as a cooking school for people who want an intimate, culturally-rich food experience. It's about much more than knife skills, or learning classic French sauces. These classes are for people who want stories, culture, and authentic, unguarded interchange alongside instruction. And the instruction itself is meant for the home cook, rather than the professional."

Read more at Collectively

Conscious Magazine
February 2015

Experience Culture Through Cuisine During an Evening with League of Kitchens

"There’s an alchemy that transpires when a passionate cook works her magic in the kitchen—a joy that comes with creativity, and knowing that a table of people will soon partake in receiving the fruits of her passion. For Jeannette Chawki, teaching others how to cook her classic Lebanese dishes, is something that makes her “heart dance.” I had the pleasure of learning how to cook Lebanese cuisine in Jeannette’s own home through the League of Kitchens culinary experience. As a compulsive traveler who hadn’t left the U.S. in two months, which is a long run for me, I was itching to be in another land and learn from people I normally wouldn’t encounter. Going on a League of Kitchens adventure was exactly what I needed."

Read more at Conscious Magazine

The L Magazine
November 2014

The L Magazine: The 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

"We love recommending activity gifts, and one of the most fun things we did with our boyfriend all year was take a Lebanese cooking workshop in the Bay Ridge home of chef Jeanette, where we spent the 5-hour immersion class learning how to make hummus, tabbouleh, and other Middle Eastern cuisine from scratch."

Read more at The L Magazine

CUNY Asian American Life
November 2014

Celebrating Asian American Cuisine

"Yamini Joshi, born and raised in Mumbai, India, is the perfect person to teach anyone to cook a traditional Indian meal. She’s been cooking since she was ten, when her mom gave birth to her younger sibling. Today she welcomes students in her Kew Gardens home. She is one of several chefs who are part of the League of Kitchens, an organization that offers cooking lessons from a wide variety of immigrant cooks."

Watch the full video at Cuny.tv

Heritage Radio
November 2014

Heritage Radio: Native

"The League of Kitchens is an organization that takes an immigrant, who is an amazing home cook and inspiring teacher, and welcomes patrons to their home to cook together. The idea is that the group cooks together, eats together, learns together, and shares in on culture and stories. Once the workshop is over, students leave with a booklet of family recipes and having experienced something new."

Listen to the full recording at Heritage Radio

American Food Roots
September 2014

Lebanese Cooking Workshop Serves both Food and Hospitality

"The Lebanese consider it an honor to have guests in their home. Jeanette Chawki, therefore, wants to make her students comfortable as much as she wants to share her passion for the cooking of her homeland. Her position as an instructor for League of Kitchens, a New York culinary program through which immigrants teach intimate cooking workshops in their homes, allows her to do both...Chawki’s students are particularly impressed by her warm hospitality as she hosts and teaches them in her home kitchen. 'Jeanette was so delightful and the food was delicious. I was really touched by her generosity and openness,' says Glory Edim, another workshop participant...Food and hospitality."

Read more at American Food Roots

Joonbug
September 2014

Move Over, Rachel Ray: New York’s Immigrant Population is Taking Over

"The most rewarding aspect of participating in a League of Kitchens workshop is the one-on-one guidance you receive. It's hard to obtain this unique feature if you're simply following a recipe. While Yamini makes it look simple, rolling dough into thin circles is an art form…This is the spectacular experience that League of Kitchens offers – you are given the unique opportunity to enhance your cooking techniques with the help of someone who has been making these dishes their entire life. Participants leave with a booklet of their teachers' family history and recipes, and, ultimately have had the chance to gain greater knowledge about and exposure to a culture that was previously foreign to them."

Read more at Joonbug

Bon Appetit
August 2014

How to Throw a Dinner Party for Strangers

"Now, however, dining with strangers is going big-time. EatWith, you see, is just one of many new services that let travelers and locals share a meal. Feastly, with networks in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York, and Cookening are similar to EatWith. League of Kitchens has a slightly different take: guests in New York City sign up to take cooking lessons in the homes of recent immigrants from around the world."

Read more at Bon Appetit

American Food Roots
July 2014

Indian Cooking Teacher Seasons Classes with Warmth and Passion

"'Out of my family, I need to feel that I can prove I am no ordinary woman, that I am different from others,'' says Yamini Joshi, the League of Kitchens’ instructor from Mumbai, India. Joshi is far from ordinary. Despite many difficult life experiences, she exudes infectious energy and has been cooking exceptional Indian meals using traditional, from-scratch methods for more than 50 years….Whether she’s rolling roti (whole wheat flat bread), carefully slicing and filling vegetables with a toasted spice mixture for sambhariya (stuffed eggplants, potatoes, shallot and tomatoes), or making the tarka (spices roasted in hot oil or ghee) for dal, Joshi, 62, now moves with an intuitive rhythm in the kitchen. She teaches her students about the particular taste and medicinal qualities of every spice she uses, the characteristic it imparts to each dish and, with warmth and patience, she explains how to blend and enhance flavors."

Read more at American Food Roots

Real Cheap Eats
July 2014

Gastrodiplomacy Takes Root in New York City

"A newer arrival, League of Kitchens, launched this past February in New York. The organization offers cooking workshops covering several international cuisines hosted in immigrant instructors’ homes. League of Kitchens’ founder Lisa Gross wanted to help her family cook when was younger, but her Korean grandmother told her and her mother to focus on their studies. After college Gross started cooking and wanted to learn how to make Korean food, but her grandmother had passed away. “I thought, ‘I couldn’t cook with my Korean grandmother, but wouldn’t it be great if there were ‘grandmothers’ from all over the world who you could cook with and learn in their kitchen?’” Gross says. She reached out to at least 150 organizations in search of instructors, ranging from refugee organizations to cultural community service centers. None of the instructors are food industry professionals. What they do have is years of family or self-taught cooking experience—and intimate knowledge of their home cultures."

Read more at Real Cheap Eats

Brownstoner Queens
June 2014

League of Kitchens Offers Cooking Workshops by Immigrant Chefs in Their Homes

"This really might be the greatest thing since the invention of sliced bread… and bungeoppang, gobi paratha, naan, roti and tiropita. The newly opened League of Kitchens offers cooking workshops that combine culinary adventure, cultural enrichment, great food, and even a bit of interior design. The instructors hail from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Greece, India, Korea and Lebanon. Most reside in Queens, and they all offer their classes in their homes. Participants help cook meals, contribute their own ideas and personal stories, and help clean up afterwards. Then, they go home with recipes for all the dishes and a starter kit that includes spices and specialty ingredients."

Read the full story at Brownstoner Queens

American Food Roots
June 2014

League of Kitchens brings Americans to the Immigrant Table

by Lauren Weiss

"So how was it that the five of us found ourselves welcomed into the apartment of a recent immigrant —an accomplished home cook who had agreed to teach a bunch of strangers recipes from her native land? This unusual culinary experience is a new venture, The League of Kitchens, which launched in February and is now offering instruction in six different cuisines. In addition to Afghani, classes are offered in Bengali, Korean, Lebanese, Indian and Greek cooking."

Read the full story at American Food Roots

Epoch Times
May 2014

Immigrants’ Cooking Secrets Are Revealed at The League of Kitchens

by Channaly Phillip

"There’s no substitute for hands-on learning—and being corrected along the way. For these five and a half hours, Kim has effectively become the Korean mother that neither of the five of us ever had, dispensing culinary and health advice, and telling tales of Korean foragers caught in the act in state parks….In the end, the feast is delicious. After five hours, we’ve eaten and drunk our way not only through ginseng tea; Korean sweets; dumplings; pajeons, served with vinegar and Kim’s homemade soy sauce (from a recipe she’s perfected over three years); and chapjae, but also watercress namul, chwi namul (mountain vegetables), her homemade white kimchi, and clementines. Maybe just as nourishing as the food is the newfound fellowship, between people who made and broke bread together."

Read the full story at Epoch Times

Honest Cooking
May 2014

Grandmothers from Around the World Teach the Secrets of Home Cooking

by Cass Daubenspeck

"The cooking workshops at the League of Kitchens are designed for a unique purpose. They put as much emphasis on the power of food to unite us as learning the proper way to prepare traditional homemade ethnic cuisine. You can go to any restaurant in New York and taste the food from hundreds of regions around the globe, but this? There’s nothing else like it."

Read the full story at Honest Cooking

May 2014

NYC Lens: Learning Home-style International Cuisine with Immigrant Home Cooks

by Yoonjoo Sang

"Did you ever want to learn cooking with your mother or aunt or grandmother? The League of Kitchens is a cooking class that started from that idea, and participants can learn different international cuisine with immigrant home cooks, taking advantage of New York’s diversity."

Watch the full video at NY City Lens

Culintro
April 2014

Classes from Immigrant Home Cooks with League of Kitchens in NYC

by Carey Jones

"But what makes the program so interesting is its professionalism...These aren’t impromptu, informal sessions, although they are intended to be intimate and personal, operating out of private homes. Rather, the program helps the instructors take their current skills and from that, create a viable job. Home cooks and professional cooks operate in two very different spheres, but League of Kitchens, in a way, bridges that gap"

Read the full story at Culintro

Heritage Radio Network: The Food Seen
March 2014

Lisa Gross, The League of Kitchens

with Michael Harlan Turkell

"On today’s THE FOOD SEEN, Lisa Gross, founder/CEO of The League of Kitchens... The League of Kitchens, celebrates NYC’s largest wave of immigration since the early 20th century by empowering immigrant women whose passions as home cooks translate into inspiring teaching."

Listen to the full segment at Heritage Radio

Banner testimonials
“The workshop was a lot of fun, a really special thing. It was really well done and everything was so thought through. Above and beyond what was expected.”
— Jeff O.
“Despina & the League of Kitchens allowed me to do a few of my favorite things all at once: eat amazing food, learn how to cook that food for myself, visit a new NYC neighborhood, and meet some fabulous new people!”
— Kemi I.
“It was a delightful experience. In many ways it was like a meal among friends where everyone gathers in a kitchen and chips in to prepare a meal. We left sated and knowing more about a cuisine and a culture.”
— Kemi I.
“I had a great experience with Nawida. She is a natural teacher. Also, I liked hearing about Nawida's story. There aren't many opportunities to share an experience with folks from other cultures without feeling like a tourist or voyeur. The workshop really fulfills an unmet need in that regard.”
— Dan B.
“Yamini welcomed us into her home, introduced us to her wonderful cuisine, and imparted her knowledge in a very warm, enthusiastic manner. The love for her culture and the Indian cuisine was felt in every technique and bite. She is an amazing women and great home chef! It was a wonderful day!”
— Joyce E.
“The meal was delicious—and unlike anything to be found in a restaurant. We lingered over it like old friends.”
— The Wall Street Journal
“Quite possibly the coolest foodie thing to do in New York, whether you’re a visitor or local.”
— Condé Nast Traveler
“It’s a culinary cultural exchange without a plane ticket.”
— The New York Times
“An afternoon with the League of Kitchens is inspiring, fulfilling and filling.”
— Tasting Table
“The best cooking class I've ever been to.”
— Max Falkowitz, Editor of Serious Eats NY
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