Introducing Cooking on Airbnb Experiences in Singapore with Damian D’Silva

  • Airbnb’s Food and Drink Experiences have been growing at a rate of 160% year-over-year since 2018
  • With Cooking Experiences, guests can now get hands-on access to over 3,000 unique recipes across 75+ countries 
  • Renowned local chef and MasterChef Singapore judge Damian D’Silva joins the global roster of hosts for cooking experiences, which includes British TV presenter and culinary entrepreneur Prue Leith, Mexican chef Enrique Olvera and more
  • To celebrate the launch of this new category, Airbnb is searching for the world’s 100 best home cooks and sending them on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy to study alongside culinary experts including Momofuku chef and founder, David Chang (and his mother, Sherri)

Today, Airbnb unveils Cooking on Airbnb Experiences – a new category of bookable experiences that unlock the hidden culinary traditions of families all around the world. 

To celebrate the launch of this new category in Singapore, Airbnb has partnered with renowned culinary icon and MasterChef Singapore judge Damian D’Silva to host an exclusive Heritage Cooking Experience.

D’Silva, now chef at Kin, will take guests through the multitude of cultures, flavours and textures that make up Singapore’s distinctive, rich culinary heritage. The 2.5 hour session is limited to ten guests only, and will be held at Kin at Straits Clan. D’Silva will teach guests how to prepare original heritage specialties through time-honoured cooking methods and recipes. Using ingredients laboriously handmade in-house or procured from traditional makers, guests will prepare recipes from scratch with D’Silva and enjoy home-cooked dishes together at Kin. Guests can book the Experience at a first-time price of S$60 when it goes live on the Airbnb platform by March 2020.

D’Silva joins the roster of renowned hosts for the new Cooking category of Airbnb Experiences, which also includes British TV presenter and culinary entrepreneur Prue Leith, world renowned Mexican chef Enrique Olvera and other prominent names in the global culinary scene. 

“As part of my life’s work and ongoing mission at Kin to preserve heritage cuisine for generations to come, we’re honoured to share our long-forgotten recipes and traditional preparations with the wider community through Airbnb Experiences. We look forward to introducing our guests to Singapore’s incredibly colourful culinary heritage and all that our cuisine has to offer,” says D’Silva.

More about Airbnb Cooking Experiences

Since 2018, Airbnb’s Food and Drink Experiences have been growing at a rate of 160% globally year-over-year. 

From learning grandmas’ recipes to traditional Uzbek home-cooking, guests can now get access to 3,000 unique recipes that are usually reserved for friends and family in over 75 countries globally with the launch of Airbnb’s latest Cooking category on Airbnb Experiences. 

Through Airbnb Cooking Experiences, we are presenting a new way to understand culture through food. Unlike typical cooking classes, which can feel intimidating or time-consuming, at the heart of every experience is human connection; people coming together to make and share a meal. Hosted by families, farmers, pastry cooks and more, local hosts can now highlight the deeper meaning behind the food you eat, teaching traditional recipes and sharing stories in intimate settings around the world. 

To protect the personal nature of each recipe, each experience has been vetted against guidelines inspired by Slow Food, a grassroots organization whose mission is to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions. Through this vetting process, we have verified that each host of an Airbnb Experience communicates the unique essence of every dish through their personal stories and has proven a deep knowledge of the heritage of the cuisine that they share. Building on our partnership, Slow Food is introducing 15 special Airbnb Cooking Experiences that perfectly align with its principles of good, clean and fair – including Walk Cook & Eat in the Amalfi Coast and ‘Let’s Rescue Food’ in Cartagena, Colombia.

Nominate your favourite home cook

Coinciding with the launch of Airbnb Cooking Experiences – and to find the next wave of culinary treasures –  we are calling on the world to apply or nominate their favorite home cook so that we can treat them to a once in a lifetime trip to Italy. There, they will learn to refine their family recipe and cement their legacy in an Airbnb cookbook, planned for 2020. The top 100 applicants will get to study alongside experts including chef David Chang and his mom, Sherri, during one of the four, specially-organized five-day courses at Slow Food’s University of Gastronomic Sciences, located within a UNESCO world heritage site in Pollenzo, Northern Italy.

Alongside workshops, tastings, field visits and lessons from UNISG professors, there will also be hands on lessons from one of the most booked hosts on the platform, Nonna Nerina, who has earned over $150,000 just by welcoming travelers to the Roman countryside to learn about her and her family’s love of pasta-making. Our new Cooking category brings together the very best of our platform with brand new Airbnb Experiences, united by new principles that ensure an authentic, local experience in intimate settings and small groups.

“Ever since the very first guests travelled with Airbnb, we have realised that sharing a meal is the key that unlocks culture and fosters connection.Through Airbnb Cooking Experiences, we want to bring back the tradition of people coming together to make and share meals, and through this help preserve unique recipes that are shared within family kitchens around the world,” shared Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO and Co-Founder. 

To be one of the lucky 100 sent to Italy, eligible Airbnb users can enter on their own or nominate their favorite home cooks via airbnb.com/cooking, submitting a personal essay on why the nominee’s passion for cooking and their family recipe makes them the perfect fit. Applications are now open, closing at 11:59pm EST on December 23, 2019.  The lucky 100 will be selected by a panel of judges including representatives of Airbnb, Slow Food and the University of Gastronomic Sciences. 25 spots are being offered on each of the four course sessions, starting June 15, 22, 29 and July 6 2020.

Cooking on Airbnb Experiences: Singapore 

  • Home-cooked flavours of Singapore – Host Ruqxana is a food docent and personal chef who recreates Singaporean and Asian cuisine with guests in her outdoor home kitchen in Siglap. Be it Indian, Malay, Chinese, Peranakan or Eurasian cuisine – you name it, she can cook it! 
  • The Intan Gastronomy Experience – Proud Peranakan and owner of Singapore’s only award-winning private home museum The Intan, host Alvin will offer guests a personal tour of his house museum, a sampling of unique Peranakan kuehs, and demonstration of how to prepare one of the most delicate Peranakan dishes – kueh pie tee.
  • Ultimate Burger Experience – Singapore-born and San Francisco-raised host Andrei runs popular sandwich shop Park Bench Deli and cheeseburger pop-up Rosita’s Deluxe. Come learn about the history, anatomy and ingredients of a classic burger and how to make your very own! 
  • Wood fired sourdough, a tasty class – At Sideways in Little India, host Giulia runs her own woodfired restaurant and bakery, and teaches guests how to make sourdough bread or focaccia bread in Sideways’s very own wood-fired oven designed and built by her and her partner.
  • Parent-child world cuisine cooking class – Nestled in a tranquil neighbourhood estate, Cynthea’s cooking studio HOUSE by Super Farmers comes complete with an air-conditioned classroom and sprawling kitchen garden. Bring your child on a ‘World Tour’ culinary class and learn to make 3 symbolic dishes of a country, each with its cooking techniques and unique taste profiles. 

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