About

Bridging the gap between intention and impact with edible empowerment for food insecure communities.

 

Our Mission

Culinuity aims to use ingenuity in the field of culinary arts to unlock personal and community empowerment for underserved communities. We leverage partnerships with key stakeholders and connect diverse resources to provide programmatic responses to food-based issues that are dynamic and scalable.

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Our Vision

Culinuity is a next generation approach to food insecurity and its peripheral causes and effects. We fill the gap between the intention and impact of traditional solutions to this far-reaching issue by producing creative programming that provides underserved communities with competitive culinary skills, nurtured self esteem, and viable options for self enablement through culinary arts.

Founders

Chef Alexis Aquino

Alexis Aquino started catering small dinner parties and consulting young professionals on their diets during college years at Columbia University. Post Columbia, Alexis chose the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) to obtain his chef diploma where he could gain proficiency in international cuisine and begin exploring culinary media. Combining his lifelong passion with a BA in English from Columbia University, Chef Lex developed a youth leadership curriculum via the culinary arts and was awarded a grant by the American Institute of Wine & Food to pursue his work in culinary education. He went on to spend 5 years putting this curriculum into practice at Harlem Children's Zone where he used dynamic lesson plans centered on the social application of cooking to empower students socially and scholastically.  Chef Lex continued his work in culinary education as the Executive Chef and Curriculum Chair at FEDCAP’s Career Design School where he created a curriculum teaching adults with disabilities how to rewrite the narrative of their struggles by transforming food into brilliant statements of self-expression and independence. Chef Lex recently founded a nonprofit, Culinuity, Inc., purposed at providing culinary solutions for food insecurity. In his spare time he shares his food philosophy with thousands of Instagram followers on a live cooking show he does weekly as well as teaches virtual cooking classes for youth and adults alike.

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Christina Kelly

Christina Kelly is a creative entrepreneur, native New Yorker, and self-appointed ‘food explorer’, passionate not only about self-sustainable food sourcing but also utilizing food as a tool for exploration of oneself and community. She is the proud co-founder and current Executive Director of Culinuity, a New York-based non-profit focused on enabling community partners of all influences to create long-lasting, food secure solutions via personalized consultation and streamlined creative programming, and equally proud founder of BeeMused, a food philosophy brand that promotes self intimacy via local, sustainable eating and recipe creation.

 

A first-generation Caribbean-American, food was an immediate source of identity for a young Christina, who for some time felt neither Caribbean enough for her family or American enough for her peers. Food became an equalizer of sorts -- a shared experience that everyone could take part in, and learn about each other with. 

 

This philosophy would pattern through her adolescence and college years as she spearheaded initiatives centered around food security and access within communities from Boston, Massachusetts to Liquidambos, Honduras. An indiscriminate facilitator of food secure solutions, Christina has projects with established groups such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and Global Brigade, along with smaller factions like Alternative Breaks and a multitude of independent local groups, including DC Central Kitchen, The Inn at Hope Missionary, and George Street Co-op. 

 

Christina simultaneously maintains career experience in business development, with a focus on strategic growth and partnerships that she marries her passion for food and her entrepreneurial efforts with. 

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