Tuesday, Nov 09, 2010

Butter & Chicken Breasts

At one point of my life, I tried to substitute any “fatty” ingredients or cooking methods into healthier ones like making oven-fried chickens with cornmeal and pre-panfrying it and then finishing the rest of the cooking in the oven, using milk instead of cream in traditional cream sauce recipes like spaghetti carbonara and one of the biggest change I did was using sunflower oil instead of butter in baking, I would make “low-fat” muffins, banana breads, cupcakes..etc – all these modifications started because I wanted someone special to me to enjoy all these tasty food without creating unneeded calories for the belly. Read on…

Thursday, Oct 21, 2010

OX’S BRITHDAY IS IN OCTOBER

PHOTO CREDIT: GABI CHAN

For the past year I have been interested in what my grandma ate growing up as a farmer in Southern China. I know that she is from an ethnic group in China called “Hakka”. Hakka has a lot of dishes that represent their own culture and short-grain glutinous flour is one of them and while I was thinking of ideas for the HIT+RUN event, I realized that this sticky texture from glutinous rice flour is my favourite (maybe it’s in my genes). Read on…

Friday, Oct 08, 2010

Casual Encounter at The Fisherman’s Wharf

I was searching for my beloved fresh sea urchin at the Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf today but had no luck. Instead, I found myself checking out the boats selling fishes like salmon and tuna and rock fish. I ended up talking with a fisherman who happened to be at the Wharf because the weather was getting really rough in Port Hardy where he usually fishes. Read on…

Wednesday, Oct 06, 2010

BE A FOOD TEXTURIST

“HIT + RUN” studio event featuring “EAT + RUN – A Food Texturist Night” is my first event. Thank you Vjeko, my teacher for “hitting” me with this event as soon as I came back from Holland so I can reflect and share and also test out what I have learned in Holland. Also, thank you for to those who were there at the event and those who were in spirit with your support!

SHARING
Questions that I came up with food and texture:

Can a meal plan/diet plan be planned with textures of the different food in mind?
Can a meal be planned with 10 different textures in mind?
Do animals like/eat their food because of the texture?

While preparing for this event, I found some cool things about food, texture and culture – for example the different words each culture use to describe food. Like the 20 different ways of saying “crispy” food in Japanese to “kusu” in describing the desirable quality of Korean noodles to using 3 different terms to describe bitterness in Malaysian.

The Latin root word for texture means to “to weave” which is also the same root word for textile. If people would who spend hours shopping for the right jacket by touching the fabric/textile of numerous jacket, trying it on in front of the mirror and then ask people for advice, how much time do people spend on thinking about the texture of their food?

TASTING
Picking 6 food items for people to sample was the last part of the event. Asian food played a big role, my Asian palette played a even bigger role. Going through aisles of Chinese food at a Taiwanese market and picking up potential food items into my basket and then putting them back – walking up and down the aisle like a mad woman examining any items that pop out at me, reading the labels, finding a connection with my event.

Food and texture was the theme, so my favourite texture of rubbery, chewy and sticky food came to mind. Inspirations came from the various items flowing in Asian beverages like coconut jelly to jackfruit to palm seeds to jelly made from Taiwanese jelly figs to water chestnuts to aloe vera.

sketches and drawings done by people after reflecting the different textures of food

EXPERIENCE
Discussing the various textures in a group of about 10 people was an amazing experience. Using my personal experience in food and texture as inspiration and encouraging everyone to smell, touch with their lips and fingers, listen to their chewing sound, play around with their tongues.

some of the tasting items: coconut jelly, aloe vera, palm seed and jackfruit and water chestnut

This is what people had to say about the textures of these food items…

1) Coconut Jelly
“reminds me damper or tampon, something spongy with liquid” (wow!), “old tires”, “plastic”, “it’s name should be bobo”, “chewy undercook pasta”, “a personality that refresh and redefine itself each time”

2) Water Chestnut
“like someone eating an apple”, “clean and crisp”, “crunchy”, “someone walking on dry snow”

3) Aloe vera
“Flesh of uncooked chicken”, “lychee fruit?”, “jelly fish”, “slippery”, “organic fibres”

4) Canned Jackfruit Preserved in Syrup
“old and stringy like overripen fruits/vegetables”, “disappointed that it wasn’t mango because the colour was deceiving”, “taste did not match the smell”, “reminds me of childhood memory and the dessert that my mom made when the weather is sticky and hot in Hong Kong”

5) Palm Seeds Preserved in Syrup
“beach grass”, “tropical sunset”, “onion looking in appearance”, “sugar cane”, “soft bone”, “vertical fibre”, “throwing rocks into the sea”

6) Jelly made from Taiwanese jelly figs
“agar agar”, “cooled chicken stock”, “fatty portion of meat”, “growing bacteria”, “reminds me of drinking sea water and not knowing what it is”, “alien”, “confusing”, “melting jelly bean”, “gelatinous”, “overwhelming taste like my first experience with jasmine tea”

Do you have a favourite texture that you crave sometimes? Is there a particular food item that you like its taste but hates its texture?

Monday, Sep 27, 2010

Slowing down is going forward

After presenting my ideas for the “HIT + RUN” event to my teacher Vjeko, I decided to slow down. To slow down to let all the research, my mind, the important details settle like resting your bottle of carbonated drink after shaking it, knowing that it will foam up if you open it too soon. It is Monday morning and I realized the power of slowness (yes there is power to slowness, the turtle won the rabbit in the race afterall!). I also realized the power of connecting with likeminded friends.

I took a break in preparing for this event this weekend and “slowly” through a facebook link share with my Pisces friend in Amsterdam, I discovered these website which have a direct impact on my presentation. These websites are Slow Lab, Love & Thrift blog posts on “slow” and best of all, the presentation of Slow Textile by Dr Emma Neuberg who started the Slow Textile movement like the Slow Food movement to think about what happens to fabric/clothes at the end of their life cycle and the fast-paced fashion/textile environment.

Like slowing down is going forward, sometimes looking away from food is actually going back to food if you know what I mean.

Friday, Sep 24, 2010

Warming up for…

Sunday, Sep 12, 2010

Bye Proef!

Hi Proef,

It has been an adventurous 6 months. As you grew from a little studio in Westerpark to a day time office/semi-studio and a restaurant during the night, I have grown with you as well. I had many first times during my time at Proef and you have really pushed me out of my comfort zones. I enjoyed the freedom that you gave me to explore what food and design can really lead me and how much possibilities simple ideas and curious questions can have in my work.

Also, I want to thank you for letting me meet my two amazing friends, a calm Virgo and a wise Pisces. I know I will take a piece of “Proef” with me wherever I go from here.

Thank you Robbert, Ina, Elizabeth and Floor for all the support and I will definitely miss calling “Lunch is ready”! Last but not least, I want to thank Marije for giving me the opportunity in working at Proef and at her studio in the attic. Thank you for the honest feedbacks! Your energy and enthusiasm towards your life, your work, your family have greatly touched me and I will use the same type of energy to push myself forward from here onwards!

This is my last project at Proef. It was another take at the lamp. The creative and production process went really smoothly and it took a fraction of the time compared to my first try. Ink pad was used in stamping vegetables on sheets of paper this time but I felt really guilty so next time stamping will definitely be done with black food colouring (preferably a natural black food colouring if that exists). My favourite was stamping herbs like the velvety leaves of sage, rosemary, the overgrown flowers of oregano and thyme all picked from our garden.

Wednesday, Sep 08, 2010

Happiness

Happiness is sharing food with family in a great atmosphere.