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classes and experiences: Indian Cooking • Food and Drink Tasting • Cooking
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Traveling Spoon was founded by Aashi Vel and Steph Lawrence who met at the Haas School of Business in 2011 around their joint passion of food. They shared a dream of helping people connect with authentic food experiences while traveling and founded Traveling Spoon to build a community of fellow food and travel lovers seeking meaningful experiences around the world.
In 2007, Steph traveled to China for the first time. After two and half weeks in the country, she was struck by how little she had connected with the local food and culture. Spending weeks traveling by tour bus from silk factory to hotel banquet hall where she ate with other tourists, she realised she didn't connect with the local culture at all. She decided to move to China in 2009 to learn the language and explore the culture through its food - she wanted to learn to make dumplings from a Chinese grandmother. But when she moved there, she found there was nothing out there to help her find the experiences she sought.
In 2011, Aashi traveled to Mexico, and had a similar problem discovering the local food and culture. She scoured review websites trying to find the most authentic food and the least touristy restaurants she could. On her way to another overly-crowded tourist spot, she saw through a window a woman in her kitchen, making dinner. That was where she wanted to be eating dinner, sharing a homemade meal with this local Mexican woman, hearing her stories and learning about her culture.
When Aashi and Steph met at business school in 2011, these experiences had never left them. Both of them believed in the power of travel to make the world a smaller, better place, and wanted to help travellers experience authentic, meaningful, and delicious travel experiences around the world. They started working on Traveling Spoon in all their MBA classes, launched the company after graduating in 2013, and haven't looked back since.