Last night we had take-out because I took the night off. Here is something I submitted to the jury when I applied for the Culinary Fellowship:
“The carrot came from the shores of the Mediterranean. And the wild carrot is an inedible, toxic thing, and over hundreds of hundreds of generations of selection, mostly by the female population, the carrot has given up its wildness to embrace a relationship with humanity. And humanity has a responsibility to maintain the carrot, and grow the carrot and reproduce it’s seeds.
And the carrot has turned from a white, woody, inedible, toxic thing to the carrot of nutrition that we have today.”
Bob Canard, Farmer
As a chef in the sustainable movement, I have a responsibility to embrace change. Although the revolution started in a restaurant, I’m certain that, at least in the context of saving the planet, my actions are still meant to embody the principles of sustainability but should take place in the wider rings of our communities. For me, food is no longer about extravagant gestures and dining with a capital “D”, though I know that generosity and abundance will aways play an important role in the life of the cook.
If I trust my sense of wonder to lead me to my values in the same way that I trust my senses to choose a wildly beautiful smelling and tender tomato, I am certain to make informed and vital decisions about how I am best able to serve my community. It is essential in this time of crisis.
As a culture, we suffer from a broken connection to what it means to be nourished in every sense of the word. We overeat the emptiness in the search for meaning, but the meaning is always there for us if we turn to the origins of our sustenance with curiosity and respect.
I would like to find new ways to contribute to this conversation about food by looking deeper at the relationship between food and waste, food and one’s body and food and creativity. I imagine holistic collaborations with people like master composters, garden teachers, alternative nutrition/body positive educators, art collectives and artists.
The word restaurant derives from the French verb restaurer, meaning to restore. When considering this, the chef must reclaim the idea of what it means to restore her public.