Raised in the cities of Akcay, Izmir and Ankara, Iris is a lover of Istanbul and Turkish Cuisine. She graduated from Izmir American Collegiate Institution and Ankara University, where she earned her degree in Theatre & Acting. When Iris isn’t writing for MFC, she can be found cooking and exploring the wonders of international cuisine, yet always coming back to her beloved Kisir—Iris’s favorite Turkish dish.
Berlin is a 24-year old freelancer, food writer, and self-taught cook based in Brooklyn, NY. Although she primarily focuses on food, she has great respect for the power of a good story and therefore takes special interest in history and film. As part of the Miracle of Feeding Cities project, Berlin is the NYC contributor as well as researcher for the MFC documentary. In addition, she writes for FoodTank, a food think tank, and does social media and events coordination for OnomonoMEDIA. Despite spending most of her time writing about food, cooking food, and eating food, she also enjoys a healthy dose of music, film, horse-back riding, and traveling. Born, raised, and educated in Austin, TX, she also has a predilection for Willie Nelson and tacos.
Cagan studied sociology at Bogazici University in Istanbul, which included a semester abroad at Boston University. Now earning his MA in Cultural Studies at Istanbul Sehir University, Cagan believes living in Turkey opens you to a world cuisines, where the casual eater can taste the Balkans, the Mediterranean, the Caucasus, Anatolia and the Middle East.
When it comes to food, Cagan’s main interest is street food. He can be found wondering around the city, discovering new foods each day. Cagan is also interested in culture, and loves to explore deep and persistent questions about the origins of a community’s cultural identity and how these identities change overtime.
Along with writing for MFC, Cagan is completing an independent documentary film about the oldest bookstore in Istanbul, called Librairie de Pera. Cagan and his team are working to show how memory of the city and the bookstore’s neighborhood have influenced the identity of the store.
Estefanía Luraschi is a seasoned writer, reader, linguist, analyst, and international development enthusiast. She currently calls Buenos Aires home, the fourth one so far after New York, USA; Vienna, Austria; and Budapest, Hungary, the last two of which featured overwhelmingly as home for most of her life and all of which contributed greatly to her speaking six languages today. When not blogging or drinking coffee, Estefanía is a graduate student specializing in development management and public policy, a soon-to-be city bike tour guide, and an avid swimmer, snowboarder, salsa dancer, foodie, and on occasion, percussionist, artist, and hiker. Her parents and younger sister support her each and every endeavor from all the way across the Atlantic.
Born in America to Cambodian parents, Amara was raised on a happy mix of Californian fast food and her mother’s traditional Cambodian cooking. Now, Amara feels lucky to be living in London, exploring her way through the city’s wealth of cultures and eating the food that comes with it. Her interest in food as a subject for study stems from her love of human and environmental geography, which Amara studied as an undergraduate in Southern California.
Amara later moved to London to obtain her MA in Anthropology of Food at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), studying under some amazingly prodigious mentors and making some amazing life long friends. She wrote her thesis on gender and space in 19th century British colonial cookery books in India, an idea that was largely inspired by her time interning under the remarkably talented Lead Curator on Anthropology, Geography and Food a the British Library, Dr. Polly Russel. Now, as well as working part-time at Monmouth, London’s most internationally renowned specialty coffee company, Amara spends her time sharpening her food growing skills at local community farms and looking to write about food in ways that are both personal and accessible to all.
For most of her life, Makiko has dedicated herself to both Japanese and foreign investigative journalism. She majored in Shakespearian Literature at Sophia University in Tokyo and then moved into a newspaper company, called Sankei, as a writer. Since her time at Sankei, she has become an independent journalist and also a coordinator for various foreign press outlets.
The greatest passion and motif in Makiko’s life, however, has always been food. She believes that good and heartfelt food can always create peace and strong ties between communities, families and friends. Makiko admires the miracles and magic that good food can make, and she believes this power in food is perhaps the most effective and pragmatic tool for diplomacy—-bringing reconciliation, harmony, peace and love to those sharing food. Her strong belief in the power of food began in childhood, thanks to her grandmother, who taught Makiko many lessons in food and diverse cuisine, all in the hopes that her granddaughter would grow up with an open mind to the world around her.
Here is one of Makiko profiles–focusing on her investigative reporting: http://www.mandy.com/home.cfm?c=seg053
Vivian grew up in Europe, the US and Australia and appears to have settled in London for the time being. She studied Economic Geography at the London School of Economics (LSE) and recently earned a certificate in Applied Environmental Economics (at CeDEP, SOAS). Her discovery of food has been as varied as her discovery of cultures over the years. Vivian loves meeting different people (she supposes her marriage to a Brazilian attests to that!) and she has always loved to eat, try different dishes and cuisines, and she (mostly) loves to cook and bake.
Vivian has 8 years’ experience in managing research and teaching at the LSE, and she currently manages a research centre in financial markets. She would love to be a catalyst for positive societal and environmental change by (re-)engaging human beings with nature, particularly through the world of food. She is particularly interested in food supply chains and the effects that the industrialization of food is having on our society and culture, consumption habits, health, and on nature.