I use as my overarching framework the notion of “learning through food,” i.e., learning about people and cultures through the foods they prepare and consume; the recipes which have been passed down, shared and adapted over time; and the meaning behind the meal. Situated within an ethnographic approach to food and a passion for "feeding the experience," I extend my foodie platform to include the cutting board, the in-between from farm to table. Bon appétit and ukonwabele ukutya kwakho!
As I look forward to the day I start my official academic training in the field of food studies (which hopefully will be sooner rather than later), or perhaps when I think ahead to how I would fill out an application to a cooking competition, I have to step back and think of the many forces (cultural and people alike) that have influenced my own desire to delve into food beyond consumption. In retrospect, one clear influence for me has been Julia Child, an American who brought French cuisine and technique into the lives of so many across the pond. She made cooking accessible and--especially as I re-watch the clips from her television shows--fun. Indeed, inquiry should reign in the kitchen whereas "fear" has no place there; among her many memorable quotations, I think this one seems particularly telling: "This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new
recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!" Today, Julia would have been 100 years old, and fom local chefs of her hometown of Pasadena to television sets across the nation to even a rather catchy tune on the radio waves, it remains clear that she continues to inspire and influence the masses. (And of course, who could forget Julie & Julia?) In honour of this legend, I chose to cook up my own version of bœuf bourguignon, one of the many dishes for which she is particularly known.