“As an organization that celebrates Citizen Diplomacy and the importance of people-to-people connections around the globe, Amy Riolo’s Culinary Diplomacy presentation on Italian Influences on American Cuisine and Culture was a fantastic hit with our audience.  She had all the scholarly knowledge one could ever hope for, but her presentation was lively, engaging and fascinating for all.” 

Janet Elliot, International Visitors Council of Los Angeles

Culinary diplomacy – the idea of using cuisine to create cross-cultural understanding, is an age-old practice that became an official program in 2012, when then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership. Since then, Secretary of State John Kerry has touted the program as a means to build bridges through cuisine, and the idea of culinary diplomacy has become vogue – there are magazine articles and college courses about it.

As a respected culinary diplomat, Amy has created menus, culinary ceremonies, and educational seminars for diplomats, international chefs, and world leaders, earning her the title “The Cook to the Kings” by a Cairo newspaper in 2008. She speaks English, Italian, French, Spanish, conversational Arabic, and is studying Greek.   She is also the author of a noted culinary/cultural blog called Amyriolo.blogspot.com which is known for promoting little known facts about global cuisine and the people who create them. See Amy's Bio for more info, or click here to see a press release.

Amy's recent culinary diplomacy presentations have included:

Los AngelesGastronomic Diplomacy: Exploring Italy’s Influence on Cuisine and Culture  

There are many more Italo-American connections in the culinary world than meet the eye as well. The American table has been inspired by Italy since the days of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.  During the 20th century, it wasn’t only Italian immigrants who brought the flavors of Italy to the US, but Italian musicians, artists, fashion designers, and top chefs. This engaging and informative presentation leads attendees through a series of events beginning with our founding fathers and ending with the Slow Food Movement, illustrating strong cultural-culinary ties that continue to strengthen both societies.

Salt Lake CityCulinary Diplomacy: Building Bridges through Global Cuisine for the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy 

During this event, Amy shares simple steps to better cross cultural communication through food and dining, and attendees will witness practical examples of how a simple meal can transform public policy and create lasting diplomatic ties. 

Los Angeles - Exploring Calabria and its Neighboring Regions

Even though most Italian-Americans hail from Italy’s glorious south, much of its beauty remains a secret to those who have not yet had the good fortune to see it first-hand. This informative armchair tour of Calabria, Puglia, Campania, and Sicily reveals the story of Italy’s southern treasures. We’ll journey through history to explore each region’s tribal origins as well as their shared histories as part of Magna Grecia and the Byzantine, Roman, and Norman empires. You’ll discover a land where modern, world-class resorts overlook world heritage sites, where ancient wisdom provides modern inspiration, and where Mother Nature has merged majestic mountains with sparkling seas.

Washington, DC - Culinary Diplomacy - The Role of Food in International Trade

In this interactive lecture, Amy explains how culinary diplomacy can be successfully implemented to improve not only better human relations, but increase trade as well. Drawing upon her international experience and collaborations with various International Visitors' Centers, she provides historical examples and modern day solutions to promoting peace at the table.

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