Food. What I eat has been a long preoccupation. Long before Michael Pollan gained fame with his book “Second Nature” I was fascinated with food and eating. I am not exactly sure why, I guess it seems to bring the world into perspective for me. The tastes of food tie me to an experience and a place. They are specific, like scents that can bring you back to a place or memory when you smell something in particular.
When I was thirteen I chose to celebrate my birthday at an herb farm that was out in the country in Texas. When I think back to this event, I marvel that there was such a place in Texas, and that I wanted to celebrate my young teen birthday there. No wonder the kids in high school looked at me strange. I was and am strange. The choice of eating at the herb farm was not only for the food, but for the experience. The experience of eating, the celebration with friends, and the place. It was a marvelous place of gardens and green houses. It was architecture tied with food. And maybe that is where architecture and food tied together for me for the first time.
Since that birthday I have remained engaged with food and eating. How it is prepared, where it is grown or produced, differences in spice and deviations relative to the place. I have years of specific memories of eating. I have a collective of experiences of growing food and then learning how to cook with what I have grown. And today I am thinking about how food, eating and growing is becoming a discussion point for sustainability.
If you have been a student at Remote Studio you know that cooking and eating communal meals is an important aspect of the semester. I intentionally integrated cooking and eating into the program because of my belief that how and what we eat is critical to a whole and potentially best lived life. It enriches us, it grounds us, it defines place. It is celebratory, it can give meaning to events, it provides memories and ultimately helps us share our lives with others.