Our Global Kitchen

Our Global Kitchen

September 29 - January 6

Food does more than keep us alive. Meals are the places where families meet, business is conducted and where our senses are stimulated. Food connects us to the land, to cultural heritage, and to each other. Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture, on loan from the American Museum of Natural History, illuminates the complex and intricate food system that brings what we eat from farm to fork.

Today’s global food economy also binds us to the 1 billion people working in agriculture—from a rice farmer in Vietnam and an oyster farmer in France to researchers in our own backyard at the University of Minnesota. In this exhibit, visitors will experience the intersection of science, culture and health—and consider some of the most challenging issues of our time.

Call on your inner chef.

Roll up your sleeves at an interactive table where you will get step by step instructions on how to “cook” famous dishes from around the world— West African groundnut soup, Mexican tamales, and more.

Attend the ultimate progressive dinner.

Join Livia Drusilla, the first Empress of Rome, for circa 10 AD appetizers. Share a 1280 AD imperial feast with Kublai Khan, Emperor of China. Enjoy an 1810 sweet dessert with British author Jane Austen. The exhibit’s recreated dining rooms and menus showcase what kind of food these famous historical figures would have served their guests.

See what your nose knows.

Interactive scent stations put your nostrils to the test. Aromas used in everything from preparing candy to preparing fish will fill the air—chocolate, garlic, and popcorn to name a few.

Face the facts.

A towering statue filled with food packages and produce puts a face to the problem of food waste. An American family of four tosses out 1,656 pounds of food each year.

Interactive cooking table.

Special Events

The Bell Museum will further explore intriguing food questions during the run of the exhibit that are inspired by University of Minnesota research as well as Minnesota’s diverse cultural connections to food. Upcoming events include:

Food Fest (Oct 6-7)
A family-friendly weekend featuring the latest innovations in food science from harnessing the power of microbes to developing new plant varieties and caring for your home garden. Special guests, food art, hands on science, and food trucks all weekend long. Free with museum admission.

Petri Dish: Super Foods or Super Frauds (Oct 10)
Are coffee, chocolate and eggs friends or foes? Sorting out what’s true and not true in food-related research findings can be tricky. Join us for a special series of curiosity-driven conversations with U of M experts. Tickets $10, includes admission to Our Global Kitchen. Additional events feature foodborne illness (Nov 14) & our ever-evolving diet (Dec 12).

Reclaiming the Culture of Indigenous American Cuisine (Oct 16)
Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota and founder of The Sioux Chef, will share insights about Native American farming, harvesting, cooking techniques, land stewardship and cultural history. The lecture will be followed by a book-signing, along with light refreshments prepared by Sherman’s catering team.