Koreatown Storytelling Program

Cooking to recover communal history

Invite a partner from a different generation, select a meaningful dish, and then collect ingredients, cook, and converse. This timeless practice is being used in a special project of the Koreatown Youth and Community Center in Los Angeles that knows that meaningful cogenerational knowledge sharing can take place simply through making food together. And they have been using it in their community to record and document conversations between youth and elders as they exchange not only recipes, cooking methods, and cultural foodways, but also communal history, life experience and personal memories.

Koreatown Storytelling Program

Created by Koreatown Storytelling Program via Katherine Yungmee Kim


How-to Guide

Browse this how-to guide to better understand how you can partner with someone in your community, and download the PDF here.

Reflect and Practice

This project re-introduces and brings fresh intention to a communal technology that has been widely practiced across time by cultures all over the world. Making food together can support knowledge sharing as well as understanding and respect across differences, not only of age but also language and ethnicity. It can also support wholeness as participants experience how their lives are of interest to one another and as the stories of their lives lead to learning about wider culture, history, and social issues. 

How might you use a similar model in your own life, with your own family, friend group, or community?

We encourage you to use the booklet to do this on your own. Connect with someone from a different generation and see if they have a favorite meal that reminds them of their heritage that they would be willing to cook with you.

Along the way, ask questions and share from your own experience what this food brings up for you, including any specific memories: Where were they? What time period was it? What sites, smells and emotions does it evoke for them? And then, in turn, you can share a food memory with your cogenerational partner. This way, you can teach some of your own tips and tricks and learn some in return.

We’d love to hear about your experience.

Offer your responses and see those of others’ below:



Return to the main page of the Cogenerational Social Healing Collection, a collaboration between On Being and CoGenerate.

You can also explore crowd-sourced submissions, or share your own, in our Community Garden (best experienced on desktop or in the Miro mobile app).

Illustration by Heejae Kim
Video by Amy Anchi Li Chen and David Lee
Produced by On Being and CoGenerate