Culinary diplomacy as a form of public diplomacy: new approaches and concepts

: pp.55-59
Received: September 07, 2015
Accepted: October 13, 2015

Lyubava Matlay

Lviv Polytechnic National University

The article defines the concept of culinary diplomacy as an instrument to create intercultural understanding and improving interactions and cooperation. The paper clarifies the conceptual apparatus of the study. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “food is the oldest form of diplomacy.” The use of culinary diplomacy is one of many tools that a government can employ in its broader strategy. Thus, according to the Executive Director of Levantine Public Diplomacy Paul Rockower, culinary diplomacy is the use of cuisine as a medium to enhance formal diplomacy in official diplomatic functions such as visits by heads-of-state, ambassadors and other dignitaries. At the same time, gastrodiplomacy is a public diplomacy which tries to interconnect culinary culture to foreign publics and influence broader audiences rather than high-level elites. The concept of culinary diplomacy is ancient, but the terminology is new. The beginning of an internationally recognized use of culinary diplomacy took place in 2002-2003 when the government of Thailand launched a program called “Global Thai”. Culinary Diplomacy is widely used in awareness-raising and advocacy purposes to enhance the positive image of the country in the world. The U.S. government established the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership in 2012, when H. Clinton kicked off recruiting 80 food professionals from across the country to cook for foreign diplomats and travel abroad. It is found that nations use food as a part of their efforts to promote their cultures, ideas, identities and values.

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