Throughout the past few years, I have become obsessed with YouTube cooking videos: particularly Bon Appetit magazine and the New York Times Cooking channels, alongside my one true love: Alison Roman. Today I sought comfort in watching Alison's latest YouTube video, reading her newsletter that came to my email, finding refuge in her recipes that got me through the pandemic. The online presence of the chefs I follow religiously have a lot to do with their unfussy yet innovative approaches to food, their ability to incorporate culinary traditions from all over the world to make something new, their ability to incorporate humor and relatability into their narration. It's not just about the recipes (although these short ribs are the best thing I have ever eaten, and if you ever make them please let me know!) but about the comfort I find in their personalities, and their ability to make me feel invested in them as people. They feel like friends! And in cooking their recipes, I feel like I am sharing something with them even though they have no idea I exist. Their ability to provide comfort is a testament to how well they've created a safe space online to share their inspired recipes with the world.
A small-scale participatory production wherein each audience member brings a dish to a potluck dinner, including the actors who share their stories of each dish and ask the audience questions about their's. It turns out the actors are portraying a group of long lost siblings who each bring a dish showing representing stories from their past, and their connections to each other and family from long ago. Later on, we learn that this is the 10 year anniversary of a tragic death of one of their siblings, and they are hosting this dinner to try to heal from their past. They find comfort in the recipes that shaped their family, and through food, around a table, find common ground once again.