Food titillates all the senses- facilitating a symphony of sorts. It is the medium for wholesome expression, information, feeling and response. Food satiates the most natural needs of a human- survival.
The experience starts with a low rumble in the pit of your belly. The rumble turns into a growling burn, resembling a fire. The blazing intensifies as the sound of the crackle on the pan lures it sensually. The sizzle then oozes an aroma that stealthily wafts to your stimulating your olfactory senses. You start to salivate as the glistening portion of food is enthroned on the platter. The serrated edge of your knife cuts into the plump piece of meat, and you pop the first bite. Bursts of Umami and slow satisfaction creep in.
Now that is an experience!
A full sensory journey that takes you through levels of emotion. Food is a powerful tool of communication that is unmatched by any regular form of communication. Gastronomy can breach any border; it stimulates the most natural conversation amongst humans and forms a connection beyond words.
Julia Child is the connoisseur of the art of communicating through food. Born, in Pasadena, California to John McWilliams Jr. and Carolyn McWilliams, Julia was the eldest of three siblings. After a couple of years in government service, she met her husband Paul Cushing Child in Ceylon while enlisted in OSS.
In 1948, when they moved to Paris, Julia was introduced to fine dining and refined cuisine. This started her culinary journey in Post War France, as she joined the Cordon Bleu and graduated in 1951.
Julia became the voice and face of cooking delicious food from a scratch in America when food options were limited to frozen, canned or processed foods. Learning from the French, she taught America how to cook, serve, and eat refined and delicious food. Then, along with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle began teaching cooking to Americans in Paris in her Paris kitchen, by the name- L’école des trois gourmandes. Soon, they co-authored their landmark publication- ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking.’
Inspired by her illustrious life, almost 40 years later, an American bureaucrat by the name of Julie Powell, embarked on her own cooking journey. Julie embarked on a food blogging adventure, challenging herself to cook 524 recipes in 365 days. Powell’s herculean effort to learn French cooking in such a short time earned her an honorary diploma from the Le Cordon Bleu culinary institute.
Julie and Julia both found their voice in cooking. Cooking became their solace when nothing else in life was sure. It found ways to emote and express, that was unmatched. Cooking made Julia Child a global food icon, and Julie Powell a celebrated published food writer.
Food is a great way to bond and connect. On the Canadian travel show “Restaurants on the Edge”, heirloom recipes made brothers out of a revered Canadian chef and a humble St. Lucian restauranteur. They were different, they came from different lands, spoke different languages, and even were coloured differently. But the food on a plate spoke volumes as much as a written letter.
Food is an experience. It is a place for innovation, and sustainability. It is a reflection of the wisdom of our ancestors, our culture and our geography. It celebrates the best that the land has to offer. It is an unspoken bond that makes a stranger feel at home, beget the most genuine blessings, and is the centre of all celebration! Food is the expression of an Economy!