A food culture column through the lens of diaspora, race, and queerness published online and in print at The Uniter.


‘They didn’t know we were seeds’: care and pleasure in difficult times

September 19, 2019

Despite a weariness toward personal, familial, political and economic turmoil, I am energized by the capacity for food and other kinds of pleasure as regenerative sites of ease and care. Seeds of truth, interdependence and resistance will always come into fruition.

I reluctantly return to my optimism and hope as I fixate on the possibility for more, for something else. As maree brown puts it, “by tapping into the potential goodness in each of us, we can generate justice and liberation, growing a healing abundance where we have been socialized to believe only scarcity exists.”

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Recipes as love letters

March 21, 2019

“The translation of body to page, and back to body, is the crux of how both love letters and recipes communicate. Food is a love language of the body. Cooking then, is the ritual of both a planned and spontaneous symbiosis between ingredients, places, bodies and intentions. It is always inherently connected to identity. It is always inherently relational.”

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Commemoration and creative intervention: Chefs politicize space

January 31, 2019

“When diasporic chefs create meals, they are creating moments of home to share with others. This act of sharing and consumption is then elevated through various strategies of intentional place-making. Chefs have the power to perform creative interventions, not only through the foods they prepare, but also through the contexts they create.”

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Eating the other

November 1, 2018

“‘Can desire for the other ever be innocent without the insinuation of race?’ she asks. ‘Nevertheless, the looming fear will always be a commodification of the Other. That the Other is viewed as a meal, to be eaten, consumed and forgotten.’ In other words, because we live in a white supremacist colonial context, power dynamics have a role to play in everything. Desire – whether for food, romance or sex – has racial implications.”

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Food culture, diaspora and queerness as sites of reckoning

October 4, 2018

“Food creates space for intergenerational knowledge to be shared. Food provides room for specificity and room for play. The infamous phrase “you are what you eat,” coined by Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, holds true on a different level for diasporic peoples…To feed diaspora is to be connected to identity and place. Aside from sustenance, food provides intimacy, ritual and ties to ancestry and land.”

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