Nadine Nelson is the sustainable chef, artist, and social entrepreneur/activist of Global Local Gourmet, a roving community-supported kitchen specializing in experiential epicurean occasions cooking up delicious adventures far from expected yet close to home. From Toronto, Canada considered the most multicultural city in the world, she is of Jamaican heritage and likes to combine global flavors with local ingredients sharing her knowledge of ethnic flavors that are underrepresented in culinary education and the arts. She uses food as a social sculpture and a catalyst to engage people in issues from seed to waste to engage participants in collaborative human engagement. Participants learn about the world’s diverse gastronomies in fellowship and unity with each other through immersive epicurean projects that celebrate abundance and our interdependence for our survival through cuisine where Nadine transforms unconventional "gallery" places like Bronx’s Kelly St. Garden, New Haven Gather, and Project Harmony in Harlem as places to showcase and interact with interdisciplinary art.
Her art interventions are a platform to build community, revitalize the neighborhood, preserve our cultural heritage, promote economic determination, and empower people to lead healthier, happier, connected, and more prosperous ways of being. Some of her experiential art pieces include Public Kitchen, Kitchen Sanctum, and Stir the Pot. Her work has been commissioned and exhibited in Boston with the Design Studio for Social Intervention, ArtSpace, and the Ely Center for Contemporary in New Haven, CT. She is a past Create Change Fellow for the Laundromat Project in New York and earned fellowships from Yale University, New Haven Public Library as their Creative in Residence and Home Cooking. She received a grant in 2021 from the Center for Arts and Activism to launch her art intervention Stir the Pot nationally and virtually.
Through a community asset mapping approach she believes as the great social sculpturist, Rick Lowe, has said culinary ”art need (s) to become more a part of the communities,” because “after all, it is in the home, in the neighborhood, where we develop our taste of things.” Adventures in culinary artistry become means to activate and be involved with ideas of sustainability and unity, principles worth replicating with the kitchen and food as the center.
She has presented on culturally relevant cuisine and especially the African Diaspora with food and health professionals to play with their food while educating them how to use food as art and activism at Yale University, New York Nutrition and Dieticians, and Just Food. Her writing has appeared in Plate Magazine, Zester Daily, Farmer's Almanac, Kwanzaa Culinarians, Yankee Magazine, and more.
She has a teaching certificate from Tufts University, has studied cooking at the Ritz Escoffier in Paris and the New School in New York, and farming at Sterling College and with Soul Fire Farm. She is an avid novice gardener and budding homesteader looking for land to start the ultimate ecologically conscious culinary art center in the spirit of J. Morgan Puett’s Mildred Lane.
My aim is to use food and adventures in domestic arts as a social sculpture and a catalyst to engage people in issues from seed to waste. While learning about the world’s diverse gastronomies in fellowship and unity with each other, projects that celebrate abundance and our interdependence for our survival through cuisine provide reflection for participants. Using food as an art intervention provides a framework and setting for the community to feel and experience multiple opportunities to transform their perspectives through interactive education, a variety of educative, and experiential art experiences. Revolutionizing hearts and stomachs with new understandings, we shape the world by whom we choose to eat with and how we choose to feast. Thus, cuisine is an invitation for a relationship. Through radical hospitality and interdisciplinary art practice, the kitchen table is our path for reconciliation, liberation, and sustainability of ourselves, our communities, and the environment.