Best Of 2020

Best Feel-Good Cookbook: Cincinnati’s Table: Recipes and Stories from a Year of Community Dinners

Cincinnati's Table

It’s a fair assertion that most shared meals are those between close friends and families. Consider then hosting a different kind of dinner party: one where its guests are strangers to each other; one where they are from different parts of the world; one where they might not all speak the same language. Cincinnati’s Table spent an entire year doing just that. Since its inaugural dinner at Mount Healthy’s Tikkum Farm in October 2018, the monthly dinner series united immigrants, refugees and their neighbors across Cincinnati with a full passport’s worth of cuisine without ever leaving the city limits: cooks and chefs from Nepal, Mexico, Ghana, Palestine, Syria and Venezuela prepared their favorite traditional dishes for groups of new friends and old. In March, guests ate dinner amid the exhibition galleries at the Contemporary Arts Center. In June, chefs took on the Cincinnati Refugee Day World Cup, cooking for a crowd of hungry soccer players and attendees at Xavier University. The series is an effort of The Welcome Project, a social enterprise arm of Camp Washington gallery Wave Pool founded in 2017 to teach art classes and workshops to local immigrants and refugees. Now, those experiences have culminated in the 126 pages of Cincinnati’s Table: Recipes and Stories from a Year of Community Dinners. Part cookbook, part scrapbook, Cincinnati’s Table is a celebratory tome with contributions from home and professional chefs, artists, community organizers and neighborhood residents that made the project possible. The Welcome Project recently opened the Welcome Market as a hub for kitchen essentials, spices and specialty grocery items and will expand with a commercial kitchen later this year, allowing for cooking classes and even more community meals for the years to come. Find Cincinnati’s Table at The Welcome Project and various Cincinnati locations, including the Contemporary Arts Center and Joseph-Beth Booksellers. The Welcome Project, 2936 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, welcomecincinnati.org.