Here’s what I learned from cooking classes.

Community is a relationship, and it requires work from all parts and participants involved. In order for the relationship to thrive and move forward, each participant and part has to be actively and fairly seen, considered, included, and respected for it to maintain its balance and function properly. Chaos is the fruit of imbalance and dysfunction within community.

From cooking with nearly 10,000 uniquely perfect strangers over the last six years, I witnessed we all need the same things in life, in different ways. We need love and to be acknowledged, the right and means to live with freedom and dignity, mental, physical and emotional health, and to see our dreams that we work so hard for come to fruition. There are many “isms” and “ations” that yield unfairness and injustices that threaten those needs – racism, sexism, ageism, marginalization, victimization, discrimination to name just some. All stem from fear and ignorance. When we turn a blind eye to one of these because of discomfort or that it doesn’t apply to us, the others find room to grow while we’re not looking. We are all at greater risk of being victims of injustice, cruelty, and not having our needs met.

Cosmopolitan Plated started with and continues to have one overall vision, to build and strengthen communities by getting individuals from all walks of life together in the kitchen. Why? Because, in my heart, I believe and know that when working together in productive action, service and sharing, towards the same goal, our learned barriers organically disappear and we see one another as we are- human. That food is the one thing we cannot live without, which means it has transformative powers to change lives and perspectives in infinite ways.

We all have a role to play. I am clear that my part to own as a community participant is facilitating a space for people to come as they are, wear fun aprons and prepare (occasionally oddly written) recipes with someone they may have never sat next to on the train or bus, or thought to acknowledge with a kind smile on the street or at the grocery store. If you have ever participated in person, you know the meal cannot come together, unless each group is aware of and ready to contribute to their part. That we can only get to the table if all of us help set the table. That no group can be left out and the food must be placed within reach of all.

We all deserve a chance and a seat at the table, to be served with fairness, and have access to share the flavor of what has taken so many of our hands to produce, as equal human beings. That’s community. The opposite is chaos. Neither has an end, and they both grow as they are fed.

Racism destroys careers, spirits, families and lives with just a look. It cannot be tolerated nor overlooked or else, it will empower all of the other “isms” and “ations” to do the same. I, with the spirit and mission of Cosmopolitan Plated, will do my part in feeding the community through sharing my work and speaking up for justice, rights and humanity for all groups. I thank you all for being a part of this community and invite you to join me, in your own way, to see that no one, or group is denied their right to know the fruits of life because of their race, or any other social distinction.

Thank you,

Jennifer Jones,

Creative Founder, Community Participant & Builder

Cosmopolitan Plated

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Cosmopolitan Plated

Arlington , Virginia  22202 
United States



Arlington, Washington, D.C., Bethesda, MD, Arlington, VA, Alexandria, VA, Old Town, VA, United States,

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