In a city known for its love of food, international delegates taking part in the One Young World Summit this weekend will attend “home dinners” throughout Pittsburgh. The dinners will provide the young adults with a taste of authentic American cuisine and hospitality. Some of the dinners will be at private homes, others at institutions such as Phipps Conservatory and the University of Pittsburgh.
Margaret Manges of Fox Chapel and her husband will host twelve delegates Saturday evening from several different countries including Canada and Japan. Manges said she studied in France when she was in school and wanted to provide the same comfortable atmosphere she experienced overseas.
“My interest is really from the standpoint of having an international focus in my own education as well as having children who like to travel abroad and knowing that families have welcomed them and I would like to reciprocate,” Manges said.
The main course of this “progressive” dinner will be served in her home; appetizers will be offered first at a different house and finally desserts at yet another home.
A few local delegates will attend. Manges believes the dinner will be a learning experience for everyone regardless of nationality. “I’m hoping to have four tables and divide the delegates up with locals so that they will have kind of a host or a volunteer who can help,” Manges said.
Once plans for the dinner were in place, Manges had to think about what she would serve. With the help of her husband, she decided to serve traditional American food.
“Primarily, we’re basing our menus on the season, so we wanted to really work with what’s in season and what might be most American, given what I can prepare and not trying to create something that’s too ambitious,” Manges said.
She added this type of dinner exposes the young adults to several aspects of a basic tradition in American households. “One of the ideas for the progressive dinner is to allow them to see a variety of American homes so that they’re not just getting one impression. I think it’s really important that when you have a limited time in another country, you don’t make opinions based on one observation,” Manges said.
The One Young World Summit continues in Pittsburgh through Monday.