Embarking on a Culinary Journey: The Kitchen Adventure Kick-off in Budapest

The first in-person meeting of the Kitchen Adventure project took place in Budapest on the 3rd and 4th of June 2024.

Here’s how things went.

Hands of Participants Engaged in Kitchen Adventure Conference Activities

Introducing Kitchen Adventure: A Sustainable Alimentary Initiative

Kitchen Adventure is an ambitious and potentially far-reaching project lead by Budapest-based Climatesmart Elephant. Originally established as a communication in-between to facilitate and improve communication on climate-related topics, over time it has shifted towards a new focus: sustainable alimentary practices.

The Kitchen Adventure is an initiative funded by EIT Food, in the frame of the Proof of Concept Societal Impact Call. The project lasted for 6 months in 2023. The Consortium includes Aarhus University, BioAzul, Food Bank Olsztyn, Professional Forum for Educators, and International Parents Alliance.

The project is built on the idea of inspiring positive behaviour change by blending culinary experiences, education, and family bonding, to the benefit of individuals and the environment. Transforming cooking from a chore into an exciting adventure, and empowering people to make informed choices towards a healthier and more sustainable diet in the context of their family is key to achieving this target.

Venue and Location

We were hosted in the Werkafè, located in the Újlipótváros neighbourhood of Budapest. Staffed by personable and capable people, it really made a difference. In full keeping with the theme of the project afoot, we experienced first-hand traditional Hungarian cuisine with a plant-based twist, as well as a variety nutritious and tasty vegan food.

Plant-Based Refreshments Served at the Kitchen Adventure Conference

The Event: Kitchen Adventure Begins

The Kitchen Adventure Meeting was a whirlwind of excitement and innovation, bringing together passionate educators, chefs, and community leaders for two days of collaboration and inspiration. As can be expected during in-person meetings at the beginning of projects that are as imaginative and ambitious as this, discussion was frank, direct, and often very lively.

Day 1 Highlights

The event kicked off with an energizing warm-up session led by the ever-enthusiastic CSE team. This set the tone for a day packed with valuable insights and dynamic discussions. We delved into the latest plaza updates and explored new methodologies for integrating school components into our kitchen adventures.

Whiteboard with 'Success' Written at the Kitchen Adventure Conference

One of the standout sessions was the presentation and feedback on draft lesson plans. Teams from CSE, BA, PFE, and FB showcased their innovative ideas, while also mapping out the nationalisation and translation timelines. The teachers’ recruitment process was another hot topic, sparking a lively debate on best practices and strategies for finding the best culinary educators.

Implementing these exciting plans in classrooms was another major focus, followed by practical tips from IPA on engaging parents and integrating these strategies into lesson plans. AU’s session on monitoring and surveys provided us with robust tools to track our progress and measure impact, including a deep dive into the Cookathlon methodology.

The day wrapped up with an inspiring concept presentation by IPA and a brainstorming session that left everyone buzzing with new ideas. And let’s not forget the evening! The surprise program had everyone on their toes, followed by a professional networking crawl on the scenic Margaret Island – a perfect end to a productive day.

Day 2 Highlights

Day two continued the momentum with another warm-up and a rich agenda. We discussed online cooking session methodologies, shared experiences from demo cooking (complete with recordings!), and brainstormed infotainment elements to make our sessions even more engaging.

The discussions on family recruitment processes, training of chefs, and recipe development were particularly enlightening, providing us with concrete steps to move forward. IPA’s tips on engaging both parents and children in online sessions were invaluable, as were the strategies for obtaining consent and tracking impact, shared by AU.

Communication strategies took center stage as we mapped out ways to reach our audience at both EU and national levels. Setting our sights on the future, we laid out ambitious plans and goals for 2024, concluding with next steps and a spirited closing session led by CSE.

As the event drew to a close, the excitement didn’t wane. The post-event lounge and chat provided a relaxed atmosphere for further networking and sharing ideas.

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