Ana Estrella was born in Salvador di Bahia, Brazil and has lived in Bari for 20 years.

She was a dancer and choreographer assistant of the Companhia Brasileira de Danças Polpulares and of several Afro-Brazilian dance groups. In Italy she has worked in the social sphere with laboratories on non-verbal communication in schools, psychiatric centers and associations. In 2008 he founded the Origens Cultural Association which promotes Brazilian culture in different fronts (dance, music, recreational activities, language courses, seminars, gastronomy) and, based on the intercultural relationship and the union between peoples, aims to aggregate people of different culture.

From these premises, the project ETHNIC COOK was born, which gathers amateur chefs of 15 different nationalities who, by offering intercontinental recipes, introduced the culinary culture of their countries of origin to the people of Bari. Etnic Cook is based on the idea of ​​its founder “food can become an excellent vehicle for information and unity before which barriers and differences fall”.

It is now a multi ethnic social bistro of 14 chefs from 14 different countries and promotes the culture of different countries through gastronomy.

Ana says that the positive impact of this project come from the migrant workers, as it was selected as the 3rd best practice in Italy for the labour employability of migrants. The main goal is to valorize the skills of each one, professional in the sector of gastronomy, recognizing the cultural background that everyone brings to them.

Ethnic Cook has had great success in the Bari area and has proved to be the promoter of integration and inclusion principles thanks to an instrument rich in symbolic value such as the conviviality expressed by food. This positive impact is also testified by the success of “Ethnic cook – Tasting the world“. The event sponsored by the Puglia Region, was welcomed by Eataly Bari – for the second consecutive year – which dedicated three days to international cuisine.

Watch the full interview with Ana Estrella: