Introducing “Cooking” on Airbnb Experiences

  • Guests can now get hands-on access to over 3,000 unique recipes across 75+ countries 
  • Hosts include British TV presenter and culinary entrepreneur Prue Leith, world renowned Mexican chef, Enrique Olvera, and Singaporean culinary icon and MasterChef judge, chef Damian D’Silva
  • To celebrate, we are 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, we’re unveiling Cooking on Airbnb Experiences – a new category of bookable experiences that unlock the hidden culinary traditions of families all around the world. 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.

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. 

Celebrating 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. With hosts like Nonna, it’s no wonder bookings of Airbnb’s food and drink Experiences have been growing at a rate of 160 percent year-over-year since 2018. 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 realized 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,” – Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO and Co-Founder. 

Building on our partnership, Slow Food is also 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.

“It’s really encouraging that Airbnb looked to us for guidance on how to help people preserve their family recipes and become quality and sustainability advocates,” said, Paolo Di Croce, Slow Food Secretary General. “Airbnb Cooking Experiences represent a great opportunity to spread our urgent call for sustainability standards and food biodiversity protection across the globe, reaching new audiences and inspiring change in the entire food and tourism sector. We have a long-term commitment to ensure that travel experiences remain authentic and help travellers learn about local communities and raise awareness about sustainable food practices.”

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.

Highlights of Cooking on Airbnb Experiences include:

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