food diplomacy through the story of a meal

Bringing Leadership Together: A Roadmap to Move Forward

The Southern California Leadership Network’s Leadership L.A. program ended last November after nine months. I was fortunate to experience some of the best speakers and programming about the various different aspects of the City of Angels.

As a Leadership Los Angeles Fellow, we examined themes such as health care, technology, safety and security, arts & culture, environment, neighborhoods, economic development, etc.  Each month we heard from leading speakers, visited numerous sites for a behind the scenes tour, designed collaborative exercises, and networked through creative problem-solving.

Walking away from this experience brought some insights that overlap for the public diplomat:

  • Always employ listening to all communities, publics, groups, and collaborators.
  • Don’t expect that you can walk in everybody’s shoes.  Empathy and support can be found through many actions.
  • Find out what the problem is, what are the impediments, where there are resources, and what you can realistically do.
  • Know when to sit back and allow others to lead.
  • Do your homework and due diligence.
  • Find where there are openings to creative collaborations.
  • Be clear on your own personal vision, your own values, and find where they overlap with others and organizations.
  • Never take “no” for an answer, continue to creatively problem-solve solutions.

Diversity of products (fruit, vegetables, proteins, grains, etc.) give a story richness.  It gives color, texture, sweetness, salty, and sour.  Having a story to tell about who you are and what you stand for are some of the inarticulated ingredients in any meal.  When you eat something that is not speaking to you, it lacks a story.  We share parts of ourself with others through our food and recipes.

How you bring it together and the memories that each meal create are the parts we share with others and the world.  Cooking sustainable, healthy, joyful, and satisfying food for others is important as we leave a piece of ourselves with them.

A grand ending to any meal is the dessert.  Whether you like fancy desserts, or just the beauty of a home-made pie, the ending of a meal is the icing on the cake.

Los Angeles can give Paris a run for the money on creative and innovative desserts.  Some links to ending a great meal can be found below.

A Guide to the L.A.’s Best Pastry Shops from Eater L.A.

Sherry Yard’s Buttermilk Pie on Pie A Day Blog on Good Food’s site by Evan Kleinman

California native, Elizabeth Faulkner‘s new NYC adventure.  It is not pastry!

For those in Paris, who need to find a patisserie on the run, check out Paris By Mouth‘s bakery map.

Last December, I was in Paris and had amazing desserts, from the hay ice cream at Frenchie to the Italian rice pudding at Chez L’Ami Jean to the roasted pumpkin with salted caramel sauce.  It was truly superb  We left enveloped in love and created new memories to share with others.  Leaders in creating a story with food.

Rice Pudding from Chez L'Ami Jean

Rice Pudding from Chez L’Ami Jean


No comments yet»

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: