MAD Follow-up

Here is a follow up article on my yesterday’s Thursday Tastes post.

Someone’s in the Kitchen with Watson, by Megan Giller, Slate, 30 June, 2014.

This is where innovation, new technology, life experiences and cooking with your soul all comes together to create our edible future.

Thursday Tastes #1

I just finished reading MAD* DISPATCHES – What is Cooking?, a compilation of fifteen essays written by people who take an interest in all things food related. These essays were from the fourth annual MAD Symposium where a community of chefs, farmers, purveyors, thinkers and writers all came together to share their opinions on the theme of the event, “What is Cooking?”
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“Taken together, these pieces argue for cooking as one of the great generalist disciplines, capable of interacting with and absorbing endeavours of all kinds – art, history, chemistry, geography, community development, the list goes on – and of even providing a way to understand who we are and who we want to be. You’ll find discussions concerning the past and future of cooking; how progress happens in the kitchen, and whether it ought to; the ideas and people worth carrying forward into memory; and how cooks, purveyors and writers stand to influence how we’ll feed ourselves in the decades to come.”

This was such an insightful and wonderful read. All fifteen essays covers different topics related to food – from cultural differences in the way we eat, to how science and cooking go hand-in-hand, to how to feed the over-populating world and to heartfelt experiences from prominent chefs on their culinary journeys. Each essay sheds a different light on how people celebrate the past, present and future of all things food. It makes you consider the whole process of how your food gets to your table, how we can eat more responsibly and how there is no uniformity in food – and that’s the exciting part. You can be as creative as you want to be when it comes to food.
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Here are a few quotes that really stayed with me:

 

“When you acknowledge, as you must, that there is no such thing as perfect food – only the idea of it – then the real purpose of striving toward perfection becomes clear: to make people happy. When we think of cooking, and all of the different cultures and subcultures of food around the world and the reason that we all cook, that reason is nourishment. It’s that simple.” ~ Thomas Keller (one of the greatest-ever American chefs and culinary mentors), Nourishment and Joy.

 

“Cooking is the creative process that connects the work of the farmer/gardener/herdsman/fisherman/hunter/forager with the work in all kitchens: transforming the bounties of the land and sea into feasts of honest, nutritious, seasonal, inspired food.” ~ Thomas Harttung (a biodynamic farmer, forester and food activist), Creating the Food Systems of Tomorrow: a Guide for Cooks.

 

“Women are reputed to be competent and devious enough to successfully poison people. We are also relied upon and, often, expected to cook for our families. We’re not deemed legit restaurant material, is all.” ~ Charlotte Druckman (Journalist / Food Writer), On Poison.

 

“Different foods are best appreciated in different ways, and our contemporary view of what restaurants can and should do is limiting our ability to enjoy this diversity. … it is somehow not enough to serve a plate of figs or the perfect unadorned peach for dessert … we pay for food not just as sustenance nor even for phenomenal quality or distinction but primarily for food as the consumable output of the chef’s mind … but if we are talking about eating the most delicious food, this is not the only way to go about it.” Josh Evans (Lead researcher and project manager of Nordic Food Lab), Observations from the Frontier of Deliciousness.

 

“Getting involved with important issues broadens the definition of who you are, beyond just what you do for a living. It’s a good antidote for the narcissism, materialism and celebrity worship that the mainstream routinely promotes.” Eric Schlosser (Author of Fast Food Nation. Reefer Madness and also a producer of films Food Inc., There Will be Blood, and more.), Out of the Kitchen.

I highly recommend anyone who has the slightest interests in food to get a copy of MAD Dispatches. Or you can read them on their website for free.

*For more information, visit: www.madfood.co

Wednesday Wonders #1

I was telling a friend of mine about the various projects that I plan on doing this year (they will probably take more than a year, but I am planning to at least start them this year). I feel like I don’t know enough to start anything. I have carved out time everyday to read up on things that I believe are relevant to my projects but I have yet to really carve out time for creating the projects. I blame my job for getting in the way for letting me set aside some ‘creative time’ to get some work done. At the end of the conversation, she told me that a writer friend of hers once said to her:

“It is very difficult to be a consumer and a creator at the same time. At some point, you have to choose.” ~ David Storrar, Writer.

I couldn’t get this line out of my head and it definitely got me thinking and wondering. I hope Mr. Storrar doesn’t mind me quoting him here but what he said rings true. Most people choose to consume instead of create because it is the easier thing to do. We read, we absorb, we have thought-provoking conversations with our friends and mentors so that we have a treasure chest filled with ideas, hoping that one day, we can fill it up enough to have a go at creating something. The thing is, there is always more to learn, with a never-ending source of good content out there! So we keep on telling ourselves that we still haven’t researched enough and therefore we go back to consuming. Ideas are useless if you don’t connect them together to create something that you can call it yours. At some point, you must be willing to do the things others won’t in order to have things others don’t.

 

My Beautiful Grandma

She was the one who took care of me while my parents were at work. Her laugh was contagious. She was patient, she was kind. Yet she was always the wicked witch and I, the princess, when we played after school, after my nap in her bed. I miss her dearly.

This was her favourite song.

Goodbye, Por Por.  November 3, 1923 – January 22, 2015.