Social Media Influencer and Penguin Random House Publishing

Vector scene of cooking, in teal, poppy, and sun colours. A spatula, vegetables and rice float.

Project objective: 

With an awareness of culinary cultural appropriation, our client wanted to ensure that their recipes and cookbook were not causing harm or offense to racialized people and those who belong to non-western cultures.

What we did:

We reframed the client’s intent:

We began by asking the client to reframe their intentions. Rather than focusing on harm and risk mitigation (which is where we observe most DEI efforts stem from), we asked them to consider the impact opportunity if we sought to create a product that enables people to feel respected and reflected, and that uses its influence to create conditions for joy, justice and environmental responsibility.

We identified and expanded understanding of the “target customer”:

We reviewed the production process, introduction, content, and messaging of the cookbook. Through this we noted which communities were being prioritized and which intersections of identity were being unintentionally excluded, harmed, or misrepresented. 

We believe in practicing transparency and conscious decision-making. As such, we guided the client through the process of making critical decisions pertaining to who they would prioritize as a customer, and acknowledging their impact on communities that they were unable to serve through this iteration. 

Creating opportunities for inclusion and systemic impact:

Leveraging our Access, Belonging and Justice framework, we identified unique opportunities to not only minimize harm, but to strategically shift language to amplify small businesses and chefs from communities in which recipes stemmed from, and to better reflect the diversity and circumstances of readers with marginalized identities.

Our recommendations included:

  • Ensuring the integrity of recipes and not exclusively catering to a western palate
  • Acknowledging the origins, land and history surrounding the recipes
  • Influencing readers to purchase ingredients from small non-western grocery stores and farmers
  • Making the book available in multiple formats to give access to those who cannot read and to minimize paper and plastic waste in the creation of hardcopy
  • Printing locally/ensuring ethical labor practices


"I was very lucky to stumble upon Sabrina and her team. She was an incredibly welcoming, positive, safe place for not only me, but for our team to learn, unlearn, and unpack our DEI knowledge and what we didn’t know. Through group sessions and independent sessions, I have felt such a tremendous growth in me personally, with our team and our businesses. It has been incredibly informative, it has been incredibly valuable - and it’s not only exactly what I needed as a human being, it’s what our business needed and it’s what our community needed."

– Client

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