Cultural Vistas Blog

At Per Se, International Chefs Take a Seat at the Table

Excepting certain Thomas Keller main-stays, you’ll see a different menu every time you walk you through Per Se’s blue doors. This creativity is in part due to the diverse staff that collaborates in the Per Se Kitchen, including international trainees.

With Chef de Cuisine Eli Kaimeh at its helm, the three Michelin-starred New York restaurant invents new concepts for their nine-course tasting menu daily. While the overall vision of the restaurant is Thomas Keller’s, the whole kitchen staff of 40 is involved in planning the next day’s dishes. “[It’s] usually a discussion by everybody sitting around a table. And that [really] includes everybody,” said Kaimeh

Per Se’s main dining room. The Michelin three-starred restaurant is located across from Central Park in the Time Warner Center. Photo by: Peter Plotica

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How I Experienced the Five Senses of India

Coming to India for the Cultural Vistas Fellowship was my first major international trip, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little nervous about living on the other side of the world.

But a while ago, I learned a handy tactic for calming my nerves when I start to feel overwhelmed. You take a few breaths, then run down the five senses – sight, smell, taste, sound, and feel – and mentally list everything you’re experiencing in that moment. The exercise forces me to shift focus and, if only for a few minutes, center myself in the present.

Cultural Vistas Fellows Pondicherry India
Raigon on a rocky beach in Pondicherry, India

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How My Internship Uses Technology to Empower Women

Girls Who Code (GWC) is much bigger than just a coding program. The nonprofit, where I spent my summer interning through the Edmund S. Muskie Internship Program, is dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology.

Girls Who Code Muskie Intern
Muskie intern Daria from Russia has spent this summer interning at Girls Who Code

Coming from Russia, this gap is something I can really relate to: I ended up doing my BA in teaching —a traditionally female field– because I wasn’t accepted to the high school preparatory course for International Relations. They didn’t accept girls, because, as I was told, “you guys have kids and never get back to work after.”

Very progressive, right?

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Do We Need Educators with a Global Perspective?

Is globalization shrinking the world, or is the growing global population expanding beyond the world’s capacity to support it? Are doors opening, or are walls being built? 

With these complex global questions increasingly defining our world, it is clear that we have a critical need for educators whose vision stretches beyond borders. The laws of physics, chemistry and biology are uniform, and recognized universally. However, rules associated with the social sciences are (happily) diverse, and messy.

Alexandra Hanlon, a UK native, teaches 4th grade at North Star Academy charter school in Newark, New Jersey through the Teach USA program.

At Cultural Vistas, we are honored to support and advance global education through a variety of initiatives.

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International Interns Give Back for J Day

Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.

–Howard Zinn, Author of “A People’s History of the United States”

There is an understanding that is pervasive in the United States: the transformative power of volunteering. Community service projects and volunteer-run organizations have become as American as apple pie and baseball.

These days, community service is thought of less as a punishment and more as a type of education, a baseline for college acceptance, and a part of many national and religious holiday celebrations.

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