Embracing Food as Nourishment for the Soul

Through seeking purpose and intention in every day living, I have found what the true essence of food means to me.

The Intention of Food

I believe food to be so much more than simply the means in which we feed our bodies. It’s an experience. Not just of taste and flavor but one that goes beyond consumption. Food is an experience which inspires expression, provokes curiosity, feels indulgent and evokes conviviality.

I have always had a profound love for food. My love affair with food innocently began from the genuine adornment for the taste. Frankly, ‘to adore’ would be an understatement. The idea of food ignites a passion inside of me. It brings me so much joy. In my opinion, there are few experiences in life that compare to an exquisite meal. And the best part about it is the ability to recreate these exquisite meals over and over again, unlike other extraordinary experiences that happen very seldomly or only once at all. 

Discovering that my two hands held the power to create these incredible experiences through cooking, for myself and others around me, further ignited this passion. Admittedly, there was a time when my relationship with food grew to be very toxic, entirely consuming me. This stemmed from the constant desire to eat, ultimately resulting in unhealthy habits and disorders. Cooking is what saved me. It taught me to eat intentionally.

Learning to experiment in the kitchen opened a whole new world of food for me. Cooking provided me with an entirely different perspective on the consumption of food. It was an art. It inspired me to try new foods, become creative with ingredients and challenge myself to attempt difficult or unfamiliar recipes. It allowed my pallet to mature and a way to derive even more happiness from food than I had previously. 

Leveraging Food for Expression

Food is a wonderful way to express oneself. I find that the meals I make or crave, whether intentional or not, tend to mirror my mood, acting as a reflection of how I’m feeling on the inside. This holds true for others’ feelings as well. Food is a love language; those of us who speak this language use food to show affection. I get immense satisfaction from preparing food for others—whether it’s comfort food to cheer someone up or a bright colorful spread to encourage good vibes on a sunny summer day.

Cooking has become my happy place. It’s an activity I can fully immerse myself in, escaping from the rest of the world, while looking forward to the delicious creation it will yield. If I’ve had a stressful day, feel sad or cranky, am at a loss for creativity in my work or am just bored, I head to the kitchen. My partner often jokes, asking me if I’ve had a bad day at work, knowing that if I have, he’s in for a fabulous dinner.

I find it extremely important to have a happy place. A creative outlet to call my own. Recent developments have urged individuals to find a way to monetize their passions. The ability to do so has allowed me and so many others to build a life we truly love and feel excited about. I will be the first to advocate for a fulfilling life. But I also caution myself.

Food is such a large part of my life and my identity, so I fear labeling cooking as merely a hobby doesn’t do it justice. Although cooking may take its form as more than just a ‘hobby’, it’s extremely important to me that I protect it from becoming something that would risk the loss of enjoyment. While I do intend to master certain aspects of cooking. I’d just like to take a more unconventional approach, as I have many things in my life thus far. I want the world to teach me.

The Cultural Significance of Food

My other greatest passion in life is traveling. I fell in love with traveling because it allowed me to experience other cultures. Food plays a major role in learning about a culture. It fascinates me how every culture can have such diverse pallets, each manipulating foods in their own creative ways. I use food to experience these cultural traditions by trying new foods and engaging in different dining styles. From Spanish Sobremesa and Italian Aperitivo to Chinese Family-Style Dining and Ethiopian Gursha, food holds a different significance to everyone. 

All my life, my parents have loved to entertain. Growing up, we were constantly hosting friends and family in our home. On these occasions, my Mom will put together the most immaculate spreads of charcuterie boards with cheeses you’ve never heard of, create immersive cocktail bars where drinks are served in disco balls and have an array of dessert platters to satisfy every craving you can possibly imagine. Ironically, this same woman is serving Tuna Helper for dinner the following night.

While my Mom may not feel inspired by food on the average day, she becomes incredibly inspired and creative when hosting and entertaining others. Its in these moments when she finds food and drink to be an experience. She uses it not only as a form of expressing her wildly creative mind by serving hors d’oeuvres topped with edible glitter but as a way to engage her company. Her creative, and beautifully crafted, fare provide an enjoyable experience for her guests. This is her recipe for creating memorable occasions. And to this day, some of my happiest memories are of these moments spent eating and drinking with loved ones. 

So from a young age, I always associated food with community. Even when only my immediate family, we would always sit down to enjoy a big meal of Tuna Helper together. No matter what each of us did that day, we always came together for dinner, spending quality time with one another, sharing about our days or upcoming plans. 

I remember many nights as a child when my brothers and I would beg my Mom to let us eat dinner but she insisted we wait until our Dad was home from work, saying, “we eat as a family.” And while I’m sure, at the time, I was devastated from my lack of patience in diving into the taco Tuesday spread my Mom had prepared, I look back now and see a family value that I cherish so deeply.

From personal experience to observing different cultural traditions, food will always bring people together. From dining at a restaurant to spending time in the kitchen preparing a home cooked meal. Food encourages individuals to sit together while eating the same foods and spending time engaging with one another. I find this to be especially important in today’s society where we are so consumed by ourselves and the Internet. Enjoying a meal together is a way to connect amongst the chaos. And those are the precious moments that matter most in life.


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