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What’s Cookin’ at United Nations Geneva

Something is cooking at the United Nations Geneva.

The United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland has recently published a unique cookbook, Recipes for Peace, Rights and Well-being, which shares the secrets of many “recipes” for its peace and humanitarian initiatives that have changed the world, combined with superb recipes from some of Geneva’s most celebrated chefs.

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The cookbook is part of the International Geneva Perception Change project, which was launched in 2014 to highlight the impact of the work done by all of the UN and international organizations, NGO’s and other institutions based in Geneva.

On a recent visit to the UN, I met with Corinne Momal-Vanian, Director of Information Service and Spokesperson for the United Nations Geneva Office, to learn more about the UN’s initiatives. The cookbook was hot off the press.

“It’s part of a project we call the ‘Perception Change Project,’ which is to explain better to people about what we do and how our work impacts the lives of people around the world,” “says Momal-Vanian. “We decided one way to do this is to publish a cookbook with some real recipes donated by top chefs in Geneva, and at the same time have each organization that works in this international city describe, in the form of a recipe, what they do. For instance, for the Red Cross it would be, ‘the ingredients of a few committed people, a dash of international law,’ and so on, and as a recipe you get ‘protection of civilians.'”

Considering Geneva is the world’s capital of peace and is also renowned for its international cuisine, and some of its chefs are known around the world, this is a beautiful blend of some of the things that makes Geneva so special.

The recipes prepared by International Geneva have direct and daily impact on every person on this planet. ~ Michael Moller, Acting Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva (quote on the book’s cover)

The cookbook is written in both English and French languages, is intellectually stimulating, thought-provoking, practical, and is filled with beautiful photography depicting the organizations and their work, and the city of Geneva. At the same time, it provides delicious recipes you can make in your kitchen.

Adds Momal-Vanian: “We think it’s going to be successful because it talks in direct and simple ways, but with beautiful imagery and photos, about what we do here.”

Some examples of these recipes include:

• The Geneva Conventions
• Cooking up Peace: Geneva Peace Talks
• Ethical fashion – International Trade Centre
• Scientific discoveries – CERN
• Recipes for Sustainable Fashion – UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section
• International Civil Defense – ICDO
• Aid for Trade – World Trade Organization

As for the food, each contributing chef provides a menu of recipes for a starter, main course and dessert. The dishes range from soufflés, to Masaledar lamb chops, to squash ravioli to frogs legs — and irresistible desserts.

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The recipes are provided by many Geneva establishments including: Chef Saverio Sbaragli, Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues; Chef Salvatore Marcello, the Grand Hotel Kempinski; Chef Gianluca Re Fraschini, InterContinental Hotel; Beatrice Tollman, Hotel d’Anglettere; and Chef Prashant Chipkar from one of my favourite restaurants, Rasoi by Vineet (gourmet Indian) at the Mandarin Oriental, Geneva – among others.

“Food unites all different nationalities and what better way to demonstrate culinary recipes to the world in difficult times,” says Lars Wagner, General Manager, Manadrin Oriental Hotel, Geneva. “A cookbook with such an irresistible name was a natural for us to participate in and support the organizers. Geneva is such an international city and Rasoi by Vineet is so well known that we wanted to be alongside this mission for a good cause.”

The catch? Many of the “special” ingredients used in these recipes can only be found in Geneva, though the recipes can be replicated anywhere in the world.

For more information, contact perceptionchange@unog.ch. Visit the UN’s website at www.unog.ch.

For information about Geneva, visit Geneva Tourism and Switzerland Tourism.

Shannon Skinner is an inspirational speaker, writer and host and producer of the television and online series, “Extraordinary Women TV.”

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