New community-run kitchen celebrates diversity at Rijeka's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

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Time Out contributors

It's not for nothing that Rijeka has the reputation of being the most liberal-minded city in Croatia. As a longstanding port, Rijeka more than most has become used to welcoming travellers, their culture and their cuisine. What's more, Rijeka is the point at which old Croatia met the formerly Italian Istrian peninsula. It is also a key city of the old Austro-Hungarian empire. Linked to its heart by rail, it was the first popular, modern tourist destination of the empire. Within the last century, Rijeka became an important immigration destination because of the city's growing industries. Though some of its industries have faded from importance, as has its standing as a key maritime centre for central Europe, Rijeka's time-honoured experience as a meeting point of different cultures and ideas shapes the city even today

Now a new meeting and dining experience in Rijeka aims to celebrate the city's openness and diversity by offering visitors the opportunity to samples foods of different cultures and exchange ideas with other guests across their shared tables. The new venue, called Kitchen, will be housed in the Benčić complex, within Rijeka's new Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. It is positioning itself as a place for locals and travellers to meet and to exchange ideas. It will catalyse such discussions by offering a menu that exudes diversity with recipes being drawn from several ethnic groups that have left a mark on the city.

The Kitchen is the heart of the home, where the family first meet every day in both the morning and after work. It is where the plans and the tales of the day are exchanged, a more relaxed place than the more formal dining room and a place where sharing is commonplace. It is these attributes that the new venue wishes to hold. In doing so, Kitchen hopes to create a space that informs and in which ideas are exchanged, a venue that, like Rijeka itself, is a place where many different peoples can come together.

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