Community Culture & Cuisine

Posted July 26th, 2013 by Danielle Alex

My vision in creating Community Culture and Cuisine Web Series, was to inspired people to go out into the world, try something new, meet new people and to gain new perspectives via the 3 elements. No matter where you go in the world, wether it’s a small town in the USA or all the way across the world to Hong Kong, wherever you find one of the three you will always find the other two.

Living abroad as a young American and speaking a few different languages, was an interesting experience to say the least. I found that people quite often wanted to categorize me and put me in a box, but to their surprise I did not fit the stereotype of an America. I love to travel, try new food, experience new cultures, learn new languages and meet new people even if it is not always “comfortable.” I seemed to somehow know that I was always going to learn something, gain a new perspective and/or gain some new friends along the way. This is how I knew I had to give back to my community, because the rewards I received by simply stepping out in faith, into the unknown, exceed far beyond what I could imagine.

Find out what Community Culture & Cuisine is all about in this brief trailer from my trip to New Delhi, India.


In the United States people come from an array of backgrounds and upbringings. Some are privileged with more opportunity than others, but still this is a fee country. I’ve visited and lived in places where it is difficult to just travel around a country, let alone leave it. Some kids are too busy trying to help add to their family’s income, instead of getting an education. Here in the USA, if you grew up in the penthouse or in the projects, you still have a lot more opportunity than many others will in a lifetime living in other countries.

When we start to get out of our comfort zone, when we are no longer scared of making a new friend with different beliefs and views than we have, that is when we ourselves are able to fly. This is where new ideas are born, you might get the key ingredient to creating the next hot invention or finding a cure for a disease.

The full webisode of Community Culture & Cuisine: New Delhi, India.


Only one full webisode has been shot. I plan to travel to various parts of the world, meeting up with friends that I have met along the way. Some friends I met in school in the USA and abroad, some I met along my travels and through other friends. I will dive into a culture and see how life really is in different parts of the globe. I want to put a young and new face to food and travel. I want more people to be able to relate to what we are doing and want to go out and try it themselves.

I will see what is going on in the community and look at organizations or people who are actively giving back to their communities and looking for ways to better various communities. In India we looked at an NGO, ETASHA that helps the youth in disadvantaged  neighborhoods with job training, building confidence and job placement. Their facilities are not at all glamorous but they use what they have.

I was blown away because after ETASHA found out I wanted to see the work they were doing, a few students volunteered to have me over and offered to make a few typical Indian dishes. By the time I entered the 3rd and final house I was already stuffed, but the hospitality was incredible!

Every house we visited was amazing. The food was incredible but the hospitality was unparalleled! Each house I visited wanted to give me the world, a stranger they had never met. The third and final house I visited, the house of Shahvez Rizvi,  was one of 5 boys.  


Shahvez is to the right of me, surrounded by his family. Far right, Brian and Brad (film crew).

Shahvez’s  mother was an amazing cook. She cooked a very special dish for us Lamb Biryani. Even though we were stuffed, we kept eating.


Everyone outside, in front of the kitchen. Brian still in go mode.

After dinner we sat around and talked while the Rizvis showed us family photos. But our day ended with a very special treat. Before I got to Shahvez’s home, I was told he was an amazing singer, so we were lucky enough to have him sing for us. It was the perfect way to end a great day!

So where to next? I would love to go to Peru, China, Germany or maybe back to Vietnam. Filming in Seattle or down in Louisiana would be a lot of fun too. For now I guess you will just have to wait and see.

Remember, never let anyone put you in a box. Keep them guessing and wondering, what great thing you are going to do next?  Travel, see what is going on in other communities around you. Break bread with new friends and explore a new culture. There is so much out there for you. Just take that first step, reach out and grab it. You might surprise yourself and help others along the way.


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Videos produced by Fools Gold Productions.