Chef’s Table is deeply resonating with me. I understand why its an award-winning documentary. It’s the deepness, almost pureness and honesty of it. Amazing Chef’s from around the world sharing their stories, their motivations, their reasons.
The more I watch it, the more inspired I am to a, wanna go and eat at most of these places (lol) and b, wanna be part of a movement to preserve - to celebrate our heritage, our culture through local produce.
As we all know, food brings us together. It connects us, reminds us and, it can, heal us – on many levels. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.
Food made with love, always tastes good. And locally produced even better. Jeong Kwan talks of it making people truly happy. And we all know we could do with a bit more of that!
It has got me thinking. Coming out of Covid 19 and the call to support local (as we should), I have been contemplating on what we as Northlanders can do to get a front foot into what I hope will be a new and improved way of going about doing what we do.
Top of my list is our natural environment. There is so much opportunity to do more to protect our whenua, our wai, eradicate pests and generally clean up our backyard – before it’s just too late. Also up there is improving the way we eat, what we eat – which of course relies on great, healthful products – not instant, not full of chemicals or empty calories.
I already know we grow and produce some awesome produce, but I believe we can do a lot more. How do we ensure that we don’t lose certain traditional crops (if we haven’t already)? What is it we can really specialise in, that people will travel to taste and be part of an experience? How do we really promote a local ‘garden to plate’ movement?
Many of the Chef’s featured have put their ‘home’ on the map by celebrating the foods of tradition – foods of their region. They openly pay homage to their heritage and their culture. Some putting their weight behind local only and ensuring heirloom varieties are not lost to mass consumerism and industrialism and lets be honest, the big monopolies. Many have stepped back from following the trend and set their own legacy by paying honour to the purity of the produce and those that farm it.
We need food to live but it should be so much more than that (and I know for many it is). What we put into our bodies effects the way we perform, the way we feel. Clean, fresh food that tastes wholesome and tingles our taste buds will do far more for us than just filling our puku. It is goodness that lifts our hearts.
I know something pretty special is going to come out of all of this upheaval. A renewed hope, a reconnection to what’s truly important – our purpose and our place.