Our goal is to educate young people about food and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth. We also are committed to inclusivity, community, cultural immersion, environmental responsibility, and respect for other cultures. Our fundamental belief is that when we travel, we should give more than we take, so our programs also help stimulate local economies and contribute to the prosperity of foreign cultures. We also believe that food is the perfect gateway to learn about people, culture, history, and family. We provide a safe space for young people to explore the world through food and form a close-knit community.
Who are we?
The Food Gap a place for young people to unite, travel, and share a love of food, art, and creativity. Evan grew up as an only child, lacking a community of likeminded creative people. When he was 19, he traveled to Southeast Asia on a gap program and fell in love with Thai food. He considered becoming a chef, and has worked in restaurants and as a private chef, but found that the fast-paced environment was suffocating. After college, he pursued a creative career in art and food and set out to unite people who love food. We prefer to live and travel with a small group (up to 10 students and 2 instructors) so that we can form stronger bonds and so that no students can slip through the cracks. Each and every member of our family is extremely important to us and to our success and joy. We also believe that financial obstacles shouldn't prevent anyone from participating in this life-changing experience, so please check out our page on financial aid.
Evan is the program's leader, personal chef, teacher, and mentor. He has experience working in restaurants and bakeries but is a self-taught chef. He fell in love with travel during a gap semester abroad in Southeast Asia and graduated from Bowdoin College in 2017 with a degree in Visual Arts. He created Happy Cooking Cards - the first greeting cards with detachable recipes, soon after. Before starting The Food Gap he also worked in social media marketing, as a mentor and teacher with teens at Maine Media Workshops, as an English tutor to local high school students, as a food photographer, and he has written articles for publications like Food52. He is obsessed with food, cooking, and reality tv, and his passion in life is to mentor young people who may feel lost or nervous about their futures. His favorite food is chocolate.
Evan Stevens, Founder + Trip Leader
"I was a nervous teen who dreaded going to college and leaving the nest, but I quickly found my people and formed a family away from home. I flew to Asia by myself for the first time when I was 19, having never left the U.S., and gained heaps of confidence during my gap semester. The people I spent my time with became family. After surviving a pandemic, I've thought a lot about what young people are going through now - feeling lost, anxious, pressured to commit to a career choice, struggling to be themselves, pressured into perfectionism. We all are scarred by the isolation and fear of living through the last few years and need a place where we truly belong. I believe my life's purpose is to help guide those who feel lost or unsteady and to foster close communities of diverse people. I am incredibly passionate about creating an environment where people can share their authentic selves and thrive personally and creatively, and I constantly learn just as much from my students as they do from me. I can't wait to welcome you into this family and to share many meals with you."
“Evan always made sure that everyone was included and was kind to everyone. He made everyone feel comfortable to be themselves!” - Jenna, former student at Maine Media Workshops
“I met Evan in the summer of 2019 when he was a teacher’s assistant for my photography class. Since then, Evan has become one of my greatest teachers, giving me advice on my writing and art. He not only fosters creativity but also kindness and is eager to act as a mentor.” Maisie, former student at Maine Media Workshops
“Evan has been a great mentor to me during and after the short time I spent with him. He has inspired and challenged me to do better both personally and in my work and I am so grateful to have worked with him!” - Ade, former student at Maine Media Workshops
“I grew up in Southern California, and the cultural diversity that surrounded me during my upbringing drives my passion for travel and language learning. I deepened my love for connecting with people from other cultures when I studied Spanish and Mandarin in school. After graduating from Bowdoin College with a degree in Sociology and Urban Studies, I considered a career in public health. But, I found out about the Food Gap from a friend, and I haven’t looked back since. Working as a Junior Trip Leader for the Food Gap has allowed me to combine all of my interests in health, food, travel, history, and language. I am endlessly grateful for the adventures and lifelong friends the Food Gap has brought me.”
Salina Chin, Trip Leader
Jake is taking time to make sure his bio is perfect, but it's coming soon! :)