Wednesday, Oct 05th, 2011

VERONICA’S EDIBLE FAMILY PORTRAIT

I spent some time with my cousin last year in Holland and he used to tease me all the time by saying that “I am a quarter of a century”. So, what exactly does a quarter of a century mean to me…

While gathering photos and organizing my thoughts for my “Edible Portrait” workshop, this workshop felt like a self-exploratory project. This workshop was a chance for me to reflect the journey I have taken so far in my life and to tell this story I have used home cooked meals with my family and friends. This is as much as a self-exploratory project for me, very personal, so personal that during the workshop I didn’t sound like my chirpy self but this deep reflective story telling voice came out…behind the colourful photos in the presentation and side stories, that’s my life. Stories and little observations of home cooked meals with family and friends that I might not have even shared with anyone but a few of my close friends, and now sharing my thoughts with in a workshop, the experience was so satisfying. I feel like there was a platform, a channel, a door for me to express my feelings about my migratory life, my thoughts on my family and more importantly what is home to me….a question I have pondered since my high school years and troubled my mom when I wrote a poem called “Migratory Bird” in Grade 12.

Talking about my Chinese roots, I felt like an extension of my family and culture like I belong to a bigger force/belonging to a culture from the way I cook or look at Chinese food, I have something to share with others through the medium of food.

My teacher Vjeko has always said that it’s important to position yourself whether you are designing or making other decisions in your life…and I feel that that while organizing my thoughts on my migratory life through home cooked foods, I have positioned myself on where home is and I feel that it’s important in order to move forward in my life. This experience has made me realized there is something special about using food to tell a story and being able to tell my own, I want to try to venture out and see if I can tell other people’s stories, whether it’s a company, someone’s celebration or their story…it’s always more memorable and enticing because your tummy is involved.

I want to thank everyone at Cafe Slobbie for making this workshop so much fun and enjoyable, as well as making me feel right at home in Korea with the ever changing, healthy and delicious Korean home cooked lunches and dinners. Special thanks to Zebby and Grace for inviting me to this workshop and curating the the project and letting me tie all these themes on food like memory, nostalgic, home cooked meals, family and migratory life, all themes I have been writing and talking about in the last year but letting me channel of these thoughts and topics in one workshop….I really feel lucky to be able to enjoy this special journey. Zebby, thank you so much I really feel like I can do anything and feel at ease whenever I working with you, hope to see you in Korea, Tokyo or Hong Kong soon!

Let’s end this post with Zebby making the little coaster for my “Home Sweet Home Essence” soup. If you want to see the rest of the workshop and the cooking demonstration of my grandma’s dishes like “Chop Chop Bye Bye Meat”, “Crunch Crunch Pancake” and “A Sticky Family” dessert, click here.

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